Dundee MSP backs safe spaces for drug taking to tackle overdose crisis

© DC ThomsonJoe FitzPatrick.
Joe FitzPatrick.

Dundee West MSP Joe Fitzpatrick has publicly backed safe consumption spaces for the taking of drugs.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who is Scotland’s Public Health Minister, was taking part in the ongoing inquiry by the Scottish Affairs Committee into problem drug use in Scotland

Committee members questioned the minister on the Scottish Government’s approach to problem drug use, and the extent to which reserved policy is restricting the Scottish Government’s ability to take its preferred ‘public health’ approach.

The committee will also question whether the Scottish Government could do more within its existing powers to address Scotland’s drug crisis, or whether the devolution of further powers is necessary to address the drivers of problematic drug use in Scotland.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “It is important that the impact of drug use is treated as a public health issue, and we are prepared to take innovative and bold measures in order to save the lives of those most at risk.

“I’m looking for the Scottish Affairs Committee’s help in persuading the UK Government to either act now to allow for medically supervised safer consumption facilities, or to devolve the power to the Scottish Parliament so that we can act.

“These facilities are supported by strong evidence, and have been backed by experts and stakeholders.”