For more than twenty years, Brian was left to rot on a methadone prescription. Month-after-month of opioid replacement therapy was the best course of action, his treatment team had concluded, making no effort to definitively end his debilitating drug dependency. For Brian’s parents, watching their son slowly succumb to the steely grip of addiction, it was two decades of agony. Then, in 2018, a ‘top up’ hit of street Valium proved too much, and – as they put it – he was at last ‘released from his torture’.
In Scotland – which has the worst recorded drug death rate in Europe – such stories are disturbingly common. But is the SNP doing enough to tackle an epidemic which is spiralling out of control?
Last year, more than 1,200 Scots lost their lives in drug-related cases, figures released today reveal.