People with lived experience of drug use and those working with frontline services are to speak about the challenges they face at the Scottish Drugs Conference in Glasgow.
Around 350 delegates from all over the UK will discuss drug deaths and ways of tackling the issue at the Scottish Events Campus. With experts discussing ways of cutting drug deaths.
There will also be training in the use of Naloxone which reverses the effect of an opioid overdose and a demonstration model of a safer drug consumption facility.
The conference, which is being jointly organised by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, will feature speeches from Drug Deaths Taskforce Chair Professor Catriona Matheson, Scottish Recovery Consortium CEO Jardine Simpson, Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick and Glasgow City Council Leader Susan Aitken.
Public Health Minister, Mr FitzPatrick said:
“Everyone attending the Scottish Drugs Conference has a common goal and that is saving lives.
“I have said repeatedly that what Scotland faces in terms of drug deaths is a public health emergency and I am sure there will be valuable contributions and discussions through the course of the day which will help inform Scotland’s input to the UK Drugs Summit tomorrow.
“I am particularly keen to listen to the experiences of those with lived experience of drug use who I believe should be at the heart of shaping our future policy on tackling this crisis.”
Glasgow City Council Leader, Cllr Aitken said:
“We always wanted to place the views of people with lived experience front and centre of our summit and I want to thank those who will share their experience directly from the stage today.
“We work closely with the city’s network of recovery communities and their input is vital as we collectively respond to the public health emergency facing the city.
“Glasgow is poised to pilot a safer drug consumption facility to save lives and we hope that over the next two days, agreement can be reached, which will enable the legal amendments required to allow us to do so.”
Glasgow Kelvin MSP, Sandra White said:
“I commend the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council for this proactive initiative which will bring experts and those with lived experience together with decision-makers to support drug-use reduction and recovery.
“This is an important challenge which crosses devolved and reserved powers and, therefore, needs efforts in both areas. As the MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, I am pleased to support colleagues in the city, Holyrood, and Westminster on finding the right solutions.
“Learning from the best international examples, it is very encouraging that those with lived experience are at the centre of these efforts to develop better social, health, and legal responses.”