Nicola Sturgeon accused of ‘breathtaking complacency’ over drugs death crisis – The Sun

Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce bosses resign in fury after being told to ‘hurry up’ by SNP minister – Daily Record

‘Failure’ in mental health treatment and drug addiction services responsible for Scotland’s drug death rate – Aberdeen Evening Express

Glasgow, Europe’s drug hell – NZZ (Switzerland)

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Nowhere in Europe do more people die from drug abuse than in Scotland. This sad record is the result of social problems, political failure – and a deadly mix of heroin, cocaine and street Valium.

If only a little had turned out differently, Jason Wallace wouldn’t have been sitting here today. For 20 years, he lived alternately in prison and on the street. In between, he sometimes found shelter with drug-addicted girlfriends, until the police arrested him again. To finance his addiction, he committed violent robberies, stole firearms and sold heroin. In dirty Glasgow back alleys, he injected the drug into his veins with used needles, ultimately infecting himself with hepatitis. Several times he narrowly avoided overdosing.

Twelve years ago, the 46-year-old finally managed to quit, thanks to a self-help group, and has been clean ever since. He doesn’t even touch alcohol anymore.

Meeting in a Glasgow café, Wallace speaks in a careful but firm voice. His body has regained strength, but the past has left its mark on his gaunt face. He works at the Scottish Drugs Forum, a non-governmental organization, and is thus still in close contact with drug addicts today. «In Glasgow’s underprivileged neighborhoods, probably nearly four in 10 residents have an acute drug problem, even if you take alcohol out of the equation,» he says.

To see how Scotland benefits from being part of the UK, click here: https://www.scotlandmatters.co.uk/unity-matters/

The ‘unhackable’ phones given to prisoners by Scottish Government – which were hacked to buy drugs – ITV news

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So-called ‘unhackable’ mobile phones given to prisoners in Scotland during lockdown by the Scottish Government at a cost of £3 million are now being used for drug deals and other criminal activity, ITV News has learned.

During lockdown when prison visits were restricted, 7,600 inmates in Scotland were issued with their own mobile phone by the Scottish government.

But these supposedly tamper-proof phones were almost immediately hacked by inmates, and, according to the Scottish Prison Service, 728 have been found since August 2020 to operate with illegal SIM cards, used for drug deals and other criminal activity.

ITV News has been given exclusive access to Scotland’s largest prison, Barlinnie, where addiction is described as “worse than ever before.”

John McTavish, Prison Officer at HMP Barlinnie told ITV News: “You give a prisoner a phone, and they’re very, very ingenious. If they put their mind to something, they can do anything at all. Within hours, the tamper proof was gone.”

The prison officier estimates about a third of phones have been tampered with.

“I checked the phones in one of the halls here in March time, and of the 300 prisoners that were there, it was probably about 100 phones tampered with altogether.”The drugs bought with these phones are often simply thrown over the prison walls, but inmates are finding ever more complex and covert methods to smuggle in drugs, including legal letters soaked in drugs that the prisoner then dissolves in water and drinks.

Millions on Middle Class Freebies – While Drug Services Are Cut. Is Scotland Really a Progressive Society? – Wecan.scot

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Scotland’s shocking drug deaths rate is FIVE times worse than England & Wales – The Sun

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