1. Reducing Drug Deaths
- Reducing Drug Deaths
Drug related deaths are at the highest levels ever reported. Drug deaths have overtaken traffic fatalities for the first time, while new and unprecedented crises threaten to push death rates still higher. All political parties should have an effective answer for how they plan to turn this figure around, reduce drug related deaths, and provide support for vulnerable and ageing drug using populations, so that they may lead fulfilling lives within UK society.
First and foremost, funding for drug treatment services must be maintained or increased, as further cuts to these services would inevitably lead to an increase in deaths. Continuation of sufficient opioid substitution therapy, widening access to heroin assisted treatment and consideration of drug consumption rooms in areas high in injecting drug use are key. Evidence for the efficacy of these interventions and their cost effectiveness has been demonstrated repeatedly. Provision of naloxone (a drug used to prevent opiate overdoses) and training in its use should be increased among drug users, drug support worker, and other who may come into contact with opioid users.