Commenting on the figures published today by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) which show 33 people died from drug-related deaths in Inverclyde in 2020 – the same as in 2019, Councillor Robert Moran, Inverclyde’s convener of health and social care, said: “We need to remember that behind every drug-related death is a person and their family and friends who are all part of a wider community.
“Preventing drug-related deaths is a top priority in Inverclyde and is being led by the Inverclyde Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP), which brings together the council, HSCP and a variety of public, private and third sector partners all with the common goal of taking actions to prevent such unnecessary tragedy within our community.
“These actions are wide-ranging, including attempts to address poverty and stigma as well as offering support to people who are experiencing severe and multiple disadvantages such as homelessness, mental health and involvement in the justice system.
“We regularly review the actions we are taking and also apply learning from the reviews of each drug death to find out where improvements can be made to prevent any more unnecessary deaths in our communities.
“We have secured additional funding and have used this to develop several key posts to help us take these actions forward, including a peer naloxone link worker and a liaison team targeting those most at risk.
“Following a successful bid to the Scottish Government’s Drug Deaths Taskforce, which we are part of, we are in the process of developing a team to offer early help to people in police custody.
“We are also working to increase our use of residential rehabilitation, the support to prepare people for residential rehab, the support on returning to their own community and to create job opportunities.
“It will unfortunately take time to turn the tide on this national epidemic and to embed new, local initiatives but we are working hard behind the scenes to reduce the number of drug-related deaths in our community through prevention and education, treatment and care, and recovery.”