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MORAY MP Douglas Ross is urging the SNP government to support his landmark Right to Recovery Bill to tackle Scotland’s drug death crisis.
His proposals have been supported enough to allow him to call for his support.
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The bill would make it a law that everyone who is eligible for it, including residential rehabilitation, would be entitled to it.
Ross drafted the bill with help from experts, including FAVOR Scotland charity.
During the consultation period, more than three quarters of respondents supported the proposals.
He is now urging the SNP, Green and Moray MSP Richard Lochhead to support his plans to ensure that a Right to Recovery becomes law as soon possible.
Mr Ross said: “I’m delighted my Right to Recovery Bill has earned the support it needs to now be debated in the Scottish Parliament.
“I truly believe this bill can be a game-changer in tackling the record drug deaths in Scotland, which is our national shame.
“Constituents in Moray have spoken to me about this issue and I believe they see the plan to enshrine the right to access treatment in law as a major step forward.
“I was proud to draft the bill in conjunction with frontline experts and those with experiences of living with addiction.
“Now I hope SNP MSPs including Richard Lochhead give my bill their backing in parliament so those who urgently need support in Moray know they will be able to access it as quickly as possible. The Scottish Government can support this and it will pass or they can refuse to back it and we will make no progress on an issue that gets worse every year, with more and more people needlessly losing their lives.
“I am pleased that the plans for a Right to Recovery have progressed a step further in parliament and I urge every MSP to support the bill.”
According to the National Records of Scotland figures, there were 1339 drug-related death in Scotland in 2020. This was five percentage points more than in 2019, and it was the largest number of drug-related deaths since 1996 when records began.
Scotland’s drug-death rate is three-and-a-half times worse than the rest of the UK and the worst in Europe. In 2019, the Scottish drug death rates were 234 per million, while the UK’s was 65 per million. The highest death rate per capita in Europe is also found in Scotland, followed by Norway and Sweden. (NRS Drug Deaths in Scotland 2020 – 30 July 2021 link).
Angela Constance, Drugs Minister, said that she would give Right to Recovery “a fair and sympathetic hearing”When she was asked about it on BBC Good Morning Scotland, May 30, 2022, she replied: She said: “In terms of the proposition put forward by Douglas Ross and his colleagues, I’ve always said it would be given a fair and sympathetic hearing.”