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SASW contributes to tackling drug deaths debate

This week, SASW contributed to a Scottish Parliament debate on tackling drug deaths and harm.

The debate was called by MSPs from the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, the Social Justice and Social Securuty Committee and the Criminal Justice Committee. It followed a consultation undertaken by all three committees on progress made by the Scottish Drug Taskforce. SASW provided written evidence to the committees after engaging with members on the issue, which you can read here

During her opening remarks, Elena Whitham MSP (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) quoted a part of our responses on the link between poverty and drug related harm:

“Poverty is still one of the leading contributing factors for substance use and so a wider focus on tackling poverty and inequality is essential. The impact of poverty, food insecurity, fuel poverty and digital exclusion on Scotland’s families and communities is devastating and increases the risk of pushing individuals toward drug use. Harmful drug use is also most damaging to communities already struggling with disadvantage, poverty and marginalisation.”

Ms Whitham went on to say that: "We need to redouble our efforts to tackle the underlying causes of poverty and inequality—all of us in the Scottish Parliament, across all committees, must commit to that task." You can read the full debate here and watch it here.

We welcome the fact that MSPs have acknowledged that more needs to be done to tackle all forms of poverty across Scotland and will continue to engage proactively with parliament to make it happen. In the meantime, we'd like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views with us on this response.