Glasgow and Scotland is facing a public health emergency.

It’s one that some politicians refuse to admit is an emergency and one which others are unwilling to take the bold action needed to tackle it - it’s drugs.

In Scotland last year, the current drugs crisis claimed 1,187 lives.

In Glasgow alone, we sat a 45 per cent increase in drug related deaths and on top of those statistics, our city is facing an epidemic in the spread of HIV, which is crucially linked to the increase in the injection of drugs.

To put it bluntly, whatever we’re doing just now isn’t working.

I believe wholeheartedly that most, if not every death caused by drugs in Glasgow is preventable, but we need to start looking outside the box for solutions and we need to see this in public health terms.

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Whether that’s properly funding the alcohol and drugs partnerships which in the last five years have seen £47M in real terms cuts, the reality of the mismanagement of our NHS and decimation of council budgets by the SNP government in Holyrood or as the majority of Glasgow City Councillors have asked for, allowing Glasgow to have a pilot of a safer drug consumption facility, our case was described as “one of the most compelling in Europe” but still the UK Home Office rejected our request - instead opting for a conference, where they’ll discuss what they already know and kick this issue further into the long grass.

Politicians and parties need to stop playing games on this issue, we need to start listening to those with lived experience to learn what we can be doing better.

People are dying, we need to step in now, try something different and end this drugs crisis that is shame on our society.