Drug deaths are Scotland’s national shame.

Deaths have risen each year since Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister in 2014 and hit a record high of 1,339 last year.

Nicola Sturgeon admitted she took her eye off the ball and the impact has been devastating on communities including Clydebank and West Dunbartonshire.

I am proud to back Scottish Conservative plans, being led by our leader Douglas Ross, for a Right to Recovery Bill. That would guarantee that everyone who needs treatment for addiction would get it and is backed by experts and frontline organisations.

By contrast, the SNP believe that one of the best ways to tackle the drug deaths crisis is to effectively decriminalise possession of some of the hardest drugs that blight our communities.

SNP ministers passed the buck to the Lord Advocate to announce this radical shift in policy with an extremely short question and answer. This was the biggest change in drugs policy since devolution, yet parliament was treated with contempt.

The SNP’s decision is a decriminalisation by the back door of drugs that are the scourge of our streets and society. It is going to make police officers jobs impossible.

It is simply not right that somebody could soon be facing the same level of punishment for dropping litter, as much as that is annoying, as possessing drugs such as crystal meth, heroin and crack cocaine.

I asked the Lord Advocate about the use of recorded police warnings during her statement and wasn’t reassured by the answer that this will not see a much softer line taken towards the possession of drugs on our streets.

There are tentative signs that Nicola Sturgeon has an open mind on our plans for a Right to Recovery Bill, but we need to see action now.

Four people are dying as a result from drugs every single day in Scotland. These stats should shame every single one of us. The strategy simply isn’t working and the time for words and deflection is over.

I implore politicians of all colours to work with the Scottish Conservatives to ensure that a Right to Recovery Bill can be enshrined into law as soon as possible.

We owe it to the most vulnerable in our society to get them the help they need.