Headlines: August 25th, 2000

Scotland’s executive says that the increasing drug death toll in the country confirms the importance of pursuing a balanced approach to drug misuse.The total of drug-related deaths rose by 23 per cent from 1998 to 1999, according to a report published by the Registrar General for Scotland. The figures do not include deaths from drug-related diseases. The figures are as anticipated in a ten-year Drugs Action Plan launched in May, which also anticipates that, with action, the continued increased will be slowed or even stopped.

Drugs will be a priority in the forthcoming spending announcement. Action will be taken on all fronts, rather than concentrating on one preventative aspect, such as education, treatment or rehabilitation. As well as committing nearly 30 million pounds to the problem, there is increased emphasis on targeting the money effectively.

In June of this year the Scottish Executive established the 10 million pound Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency – the first national agency dedicated to smashing drug crime