The SNP Government has launched a free anonymous phone service for North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Glasgow, with trained staff stay on the line while people are using drugs to ensure they remain safe.
The “Never Use Alone” phone line will be run by the charity “We Are With You” backed by £100,000 funding from the SNP Government.
It is the first service of its kind in Europe, and will eventually be rolled out across Scotland.
Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance MSP said:
"This phone line which will be operated by We Are With You and which will undoubtedly play a part in tackling Scotland’s drug deaths crisis.
“Many of those people who have lost their life while using drugs were alone at the time and I encourage people to take advantage of this service – the first of its kind in Europe – to help them stay safe.
“While backing this service, we are also continuing to work to overcome existing legal barriers to implement safe consumption rooms in Scotland.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The SNP Government is doing all it can to reduce the number of people who die of drug overdoses every year, and innovative solutions such as this helpline will be lifesaving.
“This support line should not only give users in North Ayrshire the support they need at the time they call in and will send emergency services in cases they overdose; it should also encourage those who are at a susceptible stage to seek help from services that can support them to stop using and get back on track.
“If you are or know anyone in North Ayrshire who uses drugs, please encourage them to at least use the free phone line when they do so, in case something goes wrong.”
The “Never Use Alone” free phone line number is 0808 801 0690.