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26 February 2020
Scottish drugs conference begins in Glasgow

The conference will take place at the SEC. Image credit: CC0/

Scottish drugs conference begins in Glasgow

The Scottish Government’s drug conference will take place in Glasgow today, bringing together 350 delegates from across the UK including people with lived experience of drug use.

The Scottish Drugs Conference, jointly organised by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, will include speeches from Drug Deaths Taskforce chair Catriona Matheson, Scottish Recovery Consortium chief executive Jardine Simpson, Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick and Glasgow council leader Susan Aitken.

As well as the list of speakers, the event will feature a model of a safer drug consumption facility and training on the use of Naloxone, which reverses the effect of an opioid overdose.

The UK Government will hold its own drugs summit in Glasgow on Thursday.

Ahead of the event, Aitken said she hoped that over the next two days “agreement can be reached” to pave the way for a safe drug consumption facility in Glasgow.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

FitzPatrick said he was keen to listen “to the experiences of those with lived experience of drug use” who will be “at the heart” of future policy.

“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.”

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