Jim Barlow

Tackling drug dependency

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Dundee is the drug deaths capital of Europe. Jim Barlow assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the recent Dundee Drugs Commission report, which suggests a number of approaches to a complex issue.

The Dundee Drugs Commission report published last autumn signified a major break with the policies around drug dependency pursued by successive UK governments ever since US president Richard Nixon launched the War on Drugs in the US in 1971.

It followed increasing concern about the issue in Scotland in general and Dundee in particular. In 2018 some 1,187 people died in Scotland from drug causes, with 53 of them recorded in Dundee. That’s one family a week in Dundee losing a family member to drug-induced death.

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