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SNP is to blame for drugs crisis.

Byline: A Conservative voice BY WEST SCOTLAND MSP RUSSELL FINDLAY

The magnitude of Scotland's drugs death crisis is almost beyond comprehension.

Scotland has by far the highest drugs death rate of the UK home nations which also eclipses that of every other country in Europe.

In 2007, when the SNP came to power in Edinburgh, 455 Scots lost their lives to drugs. Last year, 1,339 were killed.

Deaths in Renfrewshire are now 37.3 per 100,000 people making it the fourth worst of Scotland's 32 council areas.

Last year, 67 lives were lost in Renfrewshire, which is 219 per cent higher than the 2007 toll of 21.

Behind these stark numbers are broken families, immeasurable grief and the dead bodies of sons and daughters.

Of course, while deaths spiralled upwards, the SNP was engrossed in dishonestly blaming Westminster for all of Scotland's woes.

The inconvenient truth for the SNP is that responsibility for this tragedy lies squarely at the door of Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers in Edinburgh.

When Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross challenged the First Minister during a pre-election TV debate, she crassly conceded "taking our eye off the ball".

Her flippant response made it sound as if the SNP had merely been momentarily distracted when, in fact, they cut rehabilitation funding and beds, despite the inevitable and obvious consequences of doing so.

Last month, my party published a proposed Right to Recovery Bill which would enshrine in law the right to addiction treatment.

Yet the SNP's response to this radical life-saving legislation has been lukewarm.

Since covid, self-styled "chief mammy" Sturgeon has rarely been off our screens, making political capital from what is supposed to be a public health platform on the BBC.

But when the Scottish Parliament called an emergency debate after the latest record drugs death numbers were revealed this week, she made a sharp exit, leaving a junior minister blinking into the cameras.

Some political analysts say the SNP has two main positions either seeking to portray themselves as downtrodden victims or as plucky victors.

Ideally, they sometimes manage to pull off the contradictory con trick of being seen as both victims and victors simultaneously.

The SNP junior minister pushed into the limelight by Sturgeon revealed the intention to introduce drug consumption rooms (DCRs) where addicts can inject in relative safely.

It remains to be seen whether these will be the silver bullet that some believe.

However, if Sturgeon's government is able to implement DCRs now, then why did she choose not do so years ago?

Does the SNP's victim/ victor strategy perhaps explain it?

Having framed themselves as victims, with their hands supposedly tied by a UK Government, they now parade as victors, apparently defying the same UK government.

It seems that no subject is deemed to be too serious or sensitive for shabby SNP spin and exploitation.

When it comes to drugs deaths, they pretend to be victims and victors, but they are neither.

They are entirely culpable and this national crisis should shame every single one of them.

Since covid, selfstyled 'chief mammy' Sturgeon has rarely been off our screens

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Too many lives lost Drug-taking is rampant in Renfrewshire

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Author:A Conservative voice BY WEST SCOTLAND MSP RUSSELL FINDLAY
Publication:Paisley Daily Express (Paisley, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 7, 2021
Words:528
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