MP calls for Glasgow safe consumption room action

Alison Thewliss MP tells Home Secretary “status quo is failing”

Wednesday 12th June 2019

An SNP MP has written to Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, urging him to ‘stop blocking plans’ for a safe drug consumption facility (SDCF) in Glasgow.

In her letter to the Home Secretary, Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, outlines an ‘upsurge in needle sharing which has led to a rise in cases of HIV and Hepatitis C’ in her constituency.

“Glasgow has done sterling work to put itself in a position where a drug consumption facility could be implemented, even on a pilot basis,” says Ms Thewliss.

“It’s clear to me, and many others – including drug charities and former drug users – that the status quo is failing to adequately address the current problems of drug injecting. With the will of the Home Office we can do something different and offer some hope to those whose lives have been blighted by drug addiction.

“Given the current focus within your party on the problems drug taking can cause
I urge you to concentrate on the issue, and not the headlines, and to take this action now. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how we can best take this forward.”

 

Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee is currently investigating problem drug use in Scotland, including whether the Scottish Parliament needs more powers to deal with rising drugs deaths.

In an interview with healthandcare.scot a Canadian drugs expert suggested the answer could lie in activists setting up unsanctioned ‘pop up’ supervised consumption sites, as happened in Vancouver.

 

In her letter the MP outlines the ‘significant challenges’ that Glasgow continues to face with regards to drug injecting and its associated problems. In 2017 there was an 8% increase in drug-related deaths compared to figures from 2016.

“Drug policy at Westminster is failing the people who need the most help. There is cross-party consensus for action on this problem, and plans for a facility in Glasgow have been unanimously backed by councillors.

“The only remaining barrier is the Tory government's unwillingness to grant the exemption needed to move ahead with this important facility.

“If Westminster will not act to tackle problem drug use, then it must devolve the powers to the Scottish Parliament so the SNP government can get on with the job.”