Scotland is a textbook case of how the toxic combination of growing social exclusion and poverty, the diversification of drug markets, and repressive, abstinence-only drug policies can lead to a deadly drug overdose epidemic. A new paper published by the Scottish government gives us hope that the country can now set an example to other states on how to give a compassionate and pragmatic response to the crisis.
Scotland retains the unwanted title of “Europe’s drug death capital”. How does the Scottish government tackle the problem? We interviewed Angela Constance, the former Minister for Drug Policy of Scotland, at the 63rd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna in March – find the interview in both video and podcast format below!
What can we learn from the failures of repressive drug laws? How can we convince the people that they are failed? What are the alternatives of punitive drug policies? A group of NGOs launched a campaign to mark the 50th anniversary of the Misuse of Drugs Act in the UK – and the 100th anniversary of the drug law in Belgium. We discuss lessons learnt with Ester Kincova from Transform and Stéphane Leclercq from Fedito Brussels.
The second part of our series reveals how young people advocating drug policy reform cope with the new challenges and opportunities brought by the COVID-crisis.
In the final episode of our documentary series on the history of the rights movement of people who use drugs, we introduce activists from the UK and from the International Network of People Who Use Drugs.
The overdose epidemic in Scotland attracted international media attention but we know less about what is the situation in other parts of the UK. We interviewed Martin Balekbrough, the CEO of the Kaleidoscope Project from Wales.
Scotland has witnessed a dramatic increase in overdose deaths and HIV infections among injecting drug users. Policy-makers in Glasgow are reported to be considering a proposal to open the first supervised injection site, in response to the epidemics. We interviewed David Liddell, the director of the Scottish Drugs Forum, to learn more about the situation!
Our new movie features the beginnings of harm reduction in Liverpool – filmed at the IHRA conference
Danny Kushlick is director of Transform Drug Policy Foundation.