Dundee leaders have issued a ‘powerful’ collective statement underlining their intent to tackle the city’s drug deaths.
Dundee has the worst drugs death crisis in Europe, with deaths as a result of drugs rising from 66 in 2018 to 72 in 2019.
That equates to 482 deaths per million people, up from 443 in 2018.
Now, leaders of key Dundee agencies are underlining their continuing support to city efforts to tackle drug deaths and the suffering caused by substance use.
In a joint statement of intent, those involved promise to continue “to reduce the awful harm that drugs can cause and improve lives with kindness, compassion and hope”.
Councillor John Alexander, chair of the Dundee Partnership said: “This powerful collective message of support from leaders of our key agencies is a signal of how determined we all are to maintain progress in turning the situation around and saving lives.
“Like them, I am impressed by the commitment of our staff across agencies who, during the biggest health emergency of our lifetimes, have applied innovation and creativity to deliver services in new and pioneering ways.”
The statement is signed by Simon Little, independent chair, Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership as well as the chief executives of NHS Tayside, Dundee City Council and Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership.
Other signatories include Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd, Police Scotland Tayside Division and Eric Knox, chief executive, Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action.
Cllr Alexander added: “These developments are already making a difference, but we have to remember that this is a long-term strategy to try and solve problems which have been with us for generations.
“Already, timescales have been changed on the ADP action plan for change because of the pandemic, but this does not alter our united stand to improve the lives of people and their families who suffer the terrible consequences of drug use.
“The original Dundee Drugs Commission represented a courageous step by the Dundee Partnership to bring in outside expertise to look at the situation in our city and propose recommendations.
“I look forward to the commissioners returning to see what has been achieved, in the most challenging of circumstances.”