Johnson faces calls for devolution of reserved drug policies to let Sturgeon tackle drug deaths

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Responsibility for drug treatment is devolved to the Scottish Parliament but control over the policies which determine what can legally be done to save lives is wholly reserved to Westminster.

So, for example, NHS Scotland’s drug treatment service beats its target for treating 90% of patients within 3 weeks or less, year after year, hitting 95.6% in the year to March 2021:

https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/national-drug-and-alcohol-treatment-waiting-times/national-drug-and-alcohol-treatment-waiting-times-1-january-to-31-march-2021/

But, the one strategy which has been proven to work, is denied by the UK Government:

The largest review ever undertaken, of 349 research studies, from across the globe though mostly in Europe, carried out by the Centre for Criminology at the University in South Wales in 2017, found that ‘safe’ or ‘supervised’ injection rooms significantly reduced drug-related harms, dramatically cut mortality and offered a range of benefits for the wider population, in terms of reduced crime, nuisance in public spaces, violence and trafficking.

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16 thoughts on “Johnson faces calls for devolution of reserved drug policies to let Sturgeon tackle drug deaths

    1. Two problems then arise from “would rather the SNP Government just went and did these things anyway and to hell with asking”, legal challenge and funding.

      Yet lets not be naive either, the strategy of highlighting powerlessness to change leaves London in the frame which increases disenchantment…

      Liked by 3 people

  1. YET AGAIN MORE STUPID LYING SABRE RATTLING
    All these Scottish msps KNOW FINE WELL WHAT SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT NEED TO STOP AS MANY DEATHS

    MORE CONTROL OF POLICY
    WHICH WESTMINSTER ARE HOLDING ONTO
    TO ALLOW DEATHS IN SCOTLAND
    THIS PUTS DEVOLVED POWER IN BAD LIGHT

    WHEN ALL PROFESSIONALS IN DRUG HEALTH
    KNOW ITS WESTMINSTERS DEATHS YET AGAIN

    HISTORIC LEADERS,THATCHER, CAMERON AND THE BIGGEST CRIMINAL OF ALL JOHNSON

    HE IS USING THESE WESTMINSTER POLICIES
    TO PUNISH AND EVENTUALLY KILL DRUG TAKERS
    WHO WANT TREATMENT BUT WESTMINSTER ARE REFUSING
    THEM BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS

    and they say they are World Leaders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The root of the problem is a mindset in Tory England which regards working class people and the unemployed as serfs of little or no value.
      Their purpose in life (serfs) is to enrich their Lords and masters and anything which gets in the way of that objective will be treated as a criminal offence.
      I would like to think that we Scots would have more respect for our fellow man and treat them with greater civility to enable fuller lives to be led.
      This has to start with jobs and a minimum income for all.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. The refusal to devolve such powers is because Westminster wants to use the figures relating to deaths so that the SG can be criticised each year. In this they are supported by the media and by the unionist Labour and LibDems.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. The Scottish Gov is putting £250million (5years) into drug rehabilitation services. Monies (unionist) councils totally wasted. In the last few years they were given to fund ‘local’ drug services. Increased social care st a local level.

    The (unionists) councils failed policies in defiance of the Scottish Gov policies. Leading to the lack of funding for proper total abstinence rehabilitation service. Closing down. Until there were lack of relevant important facilities. Spending the essential monies on any nonsense. That were not life and death. Eg building empty shops and offices Multiple, malicious waste. While people die in empty shops and offices doorway.

    Total malicious, deliberate failure by (unionist) council and their members. Most of whom are not fit for public office. They are culpable for every municipal failure and death. The them blame others at local and Gov level. The unionist parties corruption. Not fit for purpose. They are part of the problems for the increased poverty and deaths.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Any blame lies with the unionist Westminster Gov and their Parties. While the Scottish Gov has to try to sort out and mitigate the totally irresponsible policies., without the total proper, relevant powers, The Scottish has done something, immediately because they care. They have listened. They have put £250million (5years) to fund prope rehabilitation services. Will the (unionist) councils muck up again as usual. Social care. The (unionist) councils are not fit for purpose. They are the cause of increased deaths. Along with these parties at Westminster Gov.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lesley Riddoch on FB –
    “Drug consumption rooms (DCRs) & decriminalisation for personal use (diversion) are effectively happening in parts of England & Wales – right under Priti Patel’s nose and despite her govt’s official opposition. These measures aren’t the total solution and the poverty that drives despair & trauma isn’t going to be tackled by a Tory UK Government – agreed.
    But 14 English local authorities are currently using or preparing DCRs and diversion, two proven ways to cut drugs deaths – despite Westminster’s hardline stance and without Whitehall permission.
    What is the Scottish Government waiting for? ”
    https://archive.ph/F5hpg
    I was aware of trials in various places, but this article implies some are rebelling.
    If true, this would rather cut the legs from under legal challenge…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I have little knowledge of these matters but a quick online search out of curiosity just now suggests that the phrase “Drug consumption rooms (DCRs) & decriminalisation for personal use (diversion)” may not fully – perhaps even incorrectly – describe what’s actually happening in England, at least what’s documented. I’d need some reassurance that a number of things are not getting conflated here!

      For example see this from a briefing in 2019 from the Centre for Justice Innovation entitled ‘Pre-court diversion for adults: an evidence briefing.’

      ‘A recent National Police Chiefs’ Council survey has highlighted that a majority of police forces across England and Wales are currently piloting or developing new pre-court DIVERSION schemes for adult offenders. The most commonly used model was drug diversion, which was in place in 27 of the 35 responding forces. Alcohol diversion, victim awareness courses, and women’s referral
      / diversion were also in place in more than half of the forces. (my emphasis)

      ‘While pre-court diversion has been trialled before, many of those forces developing pre-court diversion schemes have taken their lead from the perceived success of both Operation Turning Point in the West Midlands and Checkpoint in Durham.

      ‘Pre-court diversion has also BEEN USED FOR A NUMBER YEARS ACROSS SCOTLAND.’

      On substance misuse the briefing paper notes: ‘There is considerable evidence in the literature on what works in reoffending that offering drug treatment programmes to individuals with substance misuse issues has been shown to have a positive impact on reoffending.

      ‘A recent meta-analysis of drug-treatment programmes, for example found that treatment reduced reoffending in drug-using offenders significantly. However, there is also evidence that more intensive interventions that focus on the multiple problems of medium-to-high risk drug-using offenders are more likely to reduce reoffending and that men benefit more than women and young people benefit more than older people.

      ‘There is evidence that suggests that routeing Class A drug users into treatment via early intervention may reduce reoffending. Therefore, pre-court diversion may be particularly effective for individuals with substance misuse issues and schemes should consider routeing drug users into treatment as early as possible.’

      (https://justiceinnovation.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/2019-06/cji_pre-court_diversion_d.pdf )

      On paper, at least, from the descriptions of the two schemes referred to above, I see NO reference specifically to safe consumption facilities. And the ‘diversion’ schemes seem designed to reduce re-offending across a number of criminal activities and not specifically to reduce drug deaths.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Surprise,surprise I have received a reply from D Ross it is all about his Right to Recovery Bill regarding the drugs issue at no time has he said he is in favour of devolving the power to the SG regarding safe consumption rooms or anything else all about passing his bill in Parliament.

    Like

  6. Independence means–

    Having your own policies.
    Having control of your borders–yes, borders, where the DRUGS come in.
    Having the entirety of the State to work on “drugs”–government, secret services (yes, we will have some), police, public agencies.
    Having opposition parties who need both policies, and public explanations of these policies.
    A media (which should be licenced, and able to access public subsidies for unbiased reportage) which asks questions, articulates public concerns, and which differentiates between “news” and “opinion”.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. D, Ross and his party are totally culpable for the drug deaths. Poverty and deprivation. Starving people to death. Instead of passing the buck, as usual. Take totally responsibility for the unionist parties failure of failed policies. In Westminster and local Gov. The unionist parties interference in Scotland and elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

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