Glasgow to hold summit on tackling drug misuse next month

The meeting will bring together drug recovery experts, health professionals, government ministers and senior police officers.

The UK Government will hold its Glasgow summit on tackling drug misuse next month, it has been confirmed.

The meeting will bring together drug recovery experts, health professionals, government ministers and senior police officers from Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom on Thursday, February 27.

They will discuss how to work together to prevent deaths related to drug misuse, which reached 1187 across Scotland in 2018 – more than a quarter of the total UK figure of 4265.

Over the last decade, drug deaths have more than doubled in Scotland, with a total of 574 recorded in 2008.

Alister Jack, secretary of state for Scotland, described the numbers of those lost to drugs as a “terrible scourge”.

He said: “The high numbers of lives lost to drugs in Scotland is a tragedy, a huge cause for concern.

“I am pleased that the UK Government is to bring experts together from all parts of the country, to share experience about tackling this terrible scourge.‎”

The event is intended to boost collaboration between the UK Government and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland administrations on the issue with Professor Dame Carol Black, the independent reviewer of drugs, presenting her findings to the devolved administrations at the summit.

Kit Malthouse, minister for crime, policing and the fire service, will chair the event.

He said: “People are dying from drugs every day across the UK, and this summit will bring us together to tackle the issue of drug misuse.

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

“I look forward to meeting key individuals from across the UK and listening to their views on addressing this challenge.”

Jo Churchill, parliamentary under secretary of state for prevention, public health and primary care, will also attend.

Senior police officers are invited to the summit, as well as representatives from the National Crime Agency, drug recovery champion Dr Edward Day and Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

Representatives from Public Health Scotland can attend, along with their counterparts in England, Wales and Scotland.

While the legal framework relating to the misuse of drugs is reserved for the UK Government, the Scottish and Welsh governments and the Northern Ireland Executive have their own approach to preventing the harms of drug misuse in areas where responsibility is devolved, including healthcare, criminal justice, housing, and education.

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