THE Scottish Parliament should have powers to set up safe zones for drug users across Scotland, Lothians MSP Alison Johnstone has insisted.
She safe facilities should be made available for drug users, but currently those powers lie with Westminster.
Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, claims safe centres would reduce public injecting and sharing of needles, and help prevent incidents such as the recent HIV outbreak in Glasgow which affected one in five of the 500 people who are thought to inject drugs in the city centre.
She said: “Throughout Europe, there are around 80 supervised consumption rooms, and they play an important part in harm reduction. We must learn from successful ways treating problem drug use as a public health issue, and developing recovery-based approaches to addition.
“All evidence shows that safer facilities for drug consumption saves lives and it is essential that we have the powers to introduce these crucial health facilities when and where they are needed. It is unacceptable this vital health facility has been blocked due to reserved legislation.
“They are an important health measure which cannot afford the delay of having Westminster legislate.”