The findings of the Dundee Drugs Commission and lived experience from users will play a key role in the new Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, public health minister Joe FitzPatrick has said.
The taskforce was established in July to tackle the rising number of drug deaths in Scotland and Mr FitzPatrick confirmed the need for “immediate action” was emphasised to members as its inaugural meeting earlier this month.
He said its commitment to put the voices of lived and living experience, “including families at the centre of the Taskforce’s work, and the best way to achieve this to utilise their unique insights”, formed a key part of discussions.
Mr FitzPatrick announced a further three people with lived experience had been added to the group as he called for members to draw on their shared knowledge and influence to “enact changes that will save the lives of those most at risk”.
He also pointed to the importance of taking forward lessons and recommendations from the Dundee Drugs Commission, an independent group of experts who were asked to consider ways to lower the rate of drug deaths in Dundee.
Mr FitzPatrick said: “The Dundee Drugs Commission’s work, I think, has relevance not just to Dundee but the whole of Scotland.
“That’s why I asked the chair of the Commission, Dr Robert Peat, to sit on the task force, making sure that he can feed in to make sure the experience of the Commission and the work they’ve done can be key.
“As the Drugs Task Force takes its work forward, it will also be represented at the stakeholder event in Dundee on October 23, where there will be discussions about the Commission’s recommendations and how they are being taken forward.”
The Taskforce will meet again late next month.