EDINBURGH, October 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Leading drug experts are supporting calls for a reform of drug policy in Scotland in a report published today with policy magazine Holyrood. The report provides shocking statistics which underline the urgent need to rectify the current situation, including:
- 53 per cent of problem drug users in Scotland are not currently receiving treatment, compared to just 33 per cent in England
- The cost to society of someone not in treatment is estimated at around £50,000 per year
- Social and economic costs of illicit drugs trade in Scotland is £3.5billion and judicial system costs of drug crime equates to £73 million
- 59,600 problem drug users in Scotland; twice the prevalence in England and Wales
Discussing improvements that could be made to current drug policy, industry experts emphasise the need to support drug treatment services by: Offering a full breadth of recovery support; fostering a broad culture of openness and; taking greater accountability for improving past failings. Dr Richard Simpson, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife suggests a need to "examine all approaches in other countries" to determine future strategy for Scotland.
Issues revolving around the current Scottish drugs policy has received significant media coverage since statistics published in August showed drug-related deaths have reached record levels; 584 in 2011, with more related to methadone than heroin.
Speaking about the need for improved drug policy, Neil McKeganey, Director of the Centre for Drug Misuse Research in Glasgow, said: "We need a much greater willingness to recognise past failures and difficulties and a more mature attitude towards drug and alcohol policy."
To read the full report and find out more information about the current situation in Scotland please visit http://www.holyrood.com.