Scottish Govt consults over controversial first ‘drug room’

The Scottish Government has held discussions over the creation of an official ‘drug room’ – despite the country’s Lord Advocate blocking plans for one being introduced in Glasgow.

James Wolffe QC made his decision last year, saying that people taking drugs there could not be given immunity from prosecution.

A former drug addict also spoke out against drug rooms, stating that abstinence is “the only way to begin recovery”.


But Scottish Public Health and Sport Minister Aileen Campbell has claimed that drug laws in the UK are “outdated”.

Campbell is currently in Australia for the Commonwealth Games and spoke with officials who were involved in setting up a drug room in Melbourne.

She thinks that experiences of drug rooms being opened in Australia provide a “compelling” case for such facilities in Scotland.

An editorial in the Herald newspaper also alleged that it was “an idea worth pioneering, a mature, progressive means of helping those with chaotic drug problems”.

Record high

The Home Office says the UK’s approach to drugs is clear and does not need to be changed.

A spokesman said: “We must prevent drug use in our communities and support people dependent on drugs through treatment and recovery.”

The latest figures show that drug-related deaths have reached a record high in Scotland.

There were 867 drug-related deaths in 2016, a 23 per cent increase on 2015.


Tommy Cairns, a former addict from Halifax in West Yorkshire, told the BBC last year that a drug room would not fix the issue.

Speaking about so-called consumption rooms, he said: “Whoever came up with the idea has never been addicted to drugs.

“I used to take six bags of heroin a day, I got imprisoned for four and a half years for dealing, and let me tell you, a consumption room wouldn’t have helped me.

“Abstinence from all drugs is the only way to begin recovery.”

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