Collecting signatures PE1986: Provide testing kits for drugs in public spaces
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to provide free testing kits for drugs in public spaces such as local pharmacies, libraries, and university buildings.
Previous action taken
I have contacted Jamie Hepburn MSP and Angela Constance MSP about what could be done in educational institutions towards testing kits being available in universities.
I have also campaigned on the issue locally and successfully committed the Students Union at the University of Stirling to begin to provide testing kits.
In 2020, during the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, more under 60s died of drug overdoses than COVID-19. Among those under 75s, accidental drug and alcohol deaths were the fourth biggest killer, just behind COVID, lung cancer, and heart disease.
In 2021, Scotland had 1330 drugs related deaths according to the National Records of Scotland. Although, this number has decreased from the previous year - this is nowhere near good enough.
The Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce reported in 2022 that:
"Change is needed, but it will only be possible when we accept that this is everyone’s responsibility. Any person can save a life. They can do so through direct action like carrying and using naloxone and challenging stigma whenever it is seen."
This is not to approve drug use but to stop deaths from drugs, by checking drugs and making sure there are no substances that could cause harm. This is a harm reduction measure that is needed to stem the drug deaths in Scotland.
What happens next?