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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

North Ayrshire Summit on Drug Related Deaths

On Tuesday, Kenneth joined the emergency services, third sector, councillors, drug experienced recovery development workers and others who are dedicated to reducing drug deaths, of which there were 38 confirmed in North Ayrshire in 2018.

Chaired by Paul Main, Chair of North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership, speakers included Catriona Matheson, Chair of the SNP Government’s Drug Death Task Force, Kirsten Horsburgh, Strategy Coordinator (drug death prevention) Scottish Drugs Forum and Martha Rae, Senior Virtual Family Support Practitioner, Scottish Families Affected by Drugs and Alcohol.

Kenneth said:

“Over a hundred people attended this morning’s summit, with a shared determination to tackle North Ayrshire’s appalling level of drug deaths.

“We heard the drivers, individual and social behind drug use, the need for immediate response to overdose, the importance of medically assisted treatment, the urgency of using naxalone in opiate overdoses, etc.

“Harm reduction was also emphasised, from clean needles to consumption rooms.

“Martha Rae’s presentation was particularly moving. It showed – with the permission of their families - normal boys and girls growing up, playing at school and in other ordinary every day settings who would later die as a direct result of taking drugs. It brought home to us all how those who fatally overdose are individuals who once had their own hopes and ambitions and the devastating impact their passing has had on their families and communities.”

To find out how North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership can help you or someone you know, please call 01294 310 632.


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