Letter in Greenock Telegraph [03/02/2021]

If Councillor Wilson was to read what I have written on addiction, then he would be aware that I have both acknowledged that the Scottish Government has made mistakes and that abstinence is a valued path out of addiction. I have said that we need more rehabilitation beds and that they should be government funded. Rehabilitation and abstinence can be part of a solution to many but because there are many reasons for addiction and they are deeply imbedded within our society, the routes to recovery are complex and varied. As an elected member to Westminster it would be remiss of me if I didn’t seek to improve the situation through legislation and the legislation that requires changed is primarily the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act but we can add to that the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.  

The end game is to remove the root causes, the poverty, the trauma, the sense of a life not worth living, but immediately we must remove the stigma around addiction and treat all addictions as health issues. This can’t be done while Westminster continues to categorise drug addiction as a criminal justice matter for the Home Office rather than as a health issue for the Department of Health and Social care. 

Ronnie Cowan MP

20 Crawfurd Street