Minister vows action on ‘tragedy’

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THE Scottish Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs said the government would tackle the “tragedy” of drug-related deaths as she toured an Edinburgh treatment facility yesterday.

Roseanna Cunningham visited an NHS Lothian recovery hub, which provides drug and alcohol treatment in the north-west of the city hours after the figures were released.

Nationally, there were 584 drug-related deaths in 2011 – the highest total ever recorded.

Ms Cunningham said: “Every one of these deaths is a tragedy.

“Today’s publication underlines Scotland has a legacy of drug misuse that stretches back decades. Many of those lost to us are older drug users who after years have become increasingly unwell.”