The commission set up to examine drug deaths in Dundee has issued a final call for evidence as it prepares to issue its first report this summer.
And a leading drugs campaigner has called on the powers that be to take the findings of Dundee Drugs Commission seriously.
The commission has heard publicly from experts, support workers and doctors – and from drug users behind closed doors.
It held its final public evidence session in February and since then has been drawing up its conclusions, which it aims to present at a conference in June.
Sharon Brand, of support group Recovery Dundee, praised the commission – but fears that unless its findings are taken seriously, the problem of drug deaths will continue to rear its head for years to come.
She said: “It is exciting but I’m apprehensive because this sort of thing hasn’t happened on this scale before.
“My hope is that when they go to the NHS and the like with their recommendations that they are taken on board.
“If they aren’t we’ll be back here in another five years and another generation will be dead.
“I’ve always had great hopes for the commission – I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe something good was going to come of it. It’s what comes after that I’m worried about.”
Ahead of the June conference, the commission has put out one last call for anyone with an interest to have their say in an online survey.
It is targeted at everyone from the public to drug users, carers, support workers and criminal justice and council staff.
And as well as asking for their thoughts on what the commission has looked at already, the survey asks for recommendations of any further themes that locals think need to be addressed.
Commission chair Dr Robert Peat said the new survey was designed to round off the most complete picture possible of the city’s drug problems.
“At the outset, an initial call for evidence was advertised to invite responses (and) a wide range of responses were received to this,” Dr Peat said.
“The analysis of the responses helped the commission to identify the key themes that it needed to concentrate on during the time allocated for evidence gathering.
“Four key themes were identified from the initial round of evidence – all of which have been re-emphasised and validated through further evidence-gathering activities.
“We would like to extend an opportunity for a final call for evidence in relation to the four key themes, as well as an opportunity to suggest any other critical issues not covered under these themes.
“Anyone with an interest is welcome to respond to this call for evidence.”
The body says efforts to reduce deaths need to be redoubled, while mental health support for those with drug issues needs to be improved.
Since its formation in March last year the commission has sought to identify ways to put a halt to the city’s spiralling drug death toll – 51 drug-related deaths were recorded in 2017, up from 38 in 2016.
It’s the highest number of deaths as a proportion of the local population in Scotland.
The survey can be found at surveymonkey.com/r/DDC-FinalCall.