Initiatives to tackle Scotland's appalling number of deaths from drug misuse have been published in a proposal for a member's bill by Glasgow Labour MSP Paul Sweeney, now out to public consultation.
Mr Sweeney hopes his planned Drugs Death Prevention (Scotland) Bill will enable the establishment of overdose prevention centres, including establishing a licensing framework for centres, in order to prevent death due to drug overdose; and create a new body for the oversight of drug policy development and implementation, in order to improve health by preventing and reducing drug use, harm and related death.
Introducing his paper, he pays tribute to the "pioneering and selfless work" of Peter Krykant, who operated a pilot mobile overdose prevention centre in Glasgow between September 2020 and September 2021. "Peter’s courageous pilot project demonstrated that lives could be saved and improved under current legislation; and he did so at the expense of his own career, personal life and health", Mr Sweeney writes.
"Those who do live with the fear of criminalisation [through frug use] should instead be supported to manage their addiction in sanitary, clinical conditions with the reassurance that they will receive immediate clinical intervention to survive an overdose if it should be necessary, along with ready access to a range of support services that can provide a pathway to recovery from addiction."
Access the consultation here. Responses are due by 17 August 2022.