UK Government hosts second Glasgow drugs event in two days

The event will bring together drug recovery experts the day after a similar Scottish Government and council event.

Scotland is in the grip of a drugs crisis, with a record number of deaths caused by substance abuse.
Scotland is in the grip of a drugs crisis, with a record number of deaths caused by substance abuse.

The UK Government will host a drugs summit in Glasgow – a day after the Scottish Government and council held a similar event at the same venue.

The event will bring together drug recovery experts, health professionals, government ministers and senior police officers from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

They will discuss how to work together to best prevent drug-related deaths, which reached 4265 across the UK in 2018, with 1187 of those happening in Scotland.

Kit Malthouse, a UK Government minister who will chair the event, previously said the summit “will bring us together to tackle the issue of drug misuse”.

He added: “We must have firm enforcement action and do all we can on prevention, recovery and treatment too.”

Around 350 delegates attended the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council event on Wednesday, which local authority leader Susan Aitken described as a “landmark event”.

Much of the discussion focused on safer consumption rooms, which the Home Office has previously refused to allow in Glasgow – where the city’s health board accounts for a third of Scotland’s deaths in 2018.

Scottish Government public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said at the conference he wanted Scotland’s experience to feed into the UK Government’s event.

He said on Wednesday: “What matters is saving lives and I will work with anyone to achieve that.

“Tomorrow the UK Government will be hosting a summit in this same building – I want to be able to bring Scotland’s experience directly to that meeting.”


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