Douglas Ross has today urged the Scottish Government to give their backing to his landmark bill to tackle Scotland’s drugs-death epidemic after earning the right to bring it before Parliament.
The Right to Recovery Bill – which the Scottish Conservative leader lodged last month – will be debated by MSPs after clearing its final hurdle by attracting the support of 33 members, including Labour’s Monica Lennon and Jackie Baillie.
The legislation would enshrine in law the right of everyone to receive the potentially life-saving treatment and support they need, including, where appropriate, residential rehabilitation.
Douglas Ross is now calling on SNP and Green MSPs to get behind Right to Recovery, which was drafted in consultation with experts in the field of drug and alcohol addiction, including the charity FAVOR Scotland. It was also supported by 77% of respondents during its consultation period.
He insisted it was essential to get the bill on the statute book in the next parliamentary session to begin the fightback against the “national tragedy” of Scotland having by far the worst drugs-death rate in Europe.
Drugs Minister Angela Constance has previously said that the Scottish Government would give the bill “a fair and sympathetic hearing” when it came before parliament.
Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “I’m delighted that our Right to Recovery Bill has earned the support it needs to be debated in parliament and I thank all the MSPs who backed it.
“I strongly believe this bill can be a game-changer in tackling the national tragedy of drug-related fatalities in Scotland.
“We can’t continue with the status quo when we have the worst drug-death rate in Europe.
“A common-sense solution is needed to a problem that shames Scotland – and that’s what Right to Recovery is.
“It has been drafted with the help of those with lived experience of addiction, and it will tackle one of the biggest obstacles to recovery those with drug or alcohol addictions face: the scarcity of treatment available.
“It’s vital now that MSPs from all parties rally behind it so that we can get it on the statute book to make a tangible difference to vulnerable people’s lives and tackle Scotland’s shame.
“The Drugs Minister has said the Scottish Government will give Right to Recovery a fair hearing. Now that it’s coming before parliament, I’d urge Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues to get off the fence and back it, so that we can make a real difference.”