In 2019 the UK once again recorded the highest level of drug deaths since records began with some 4,265 dying across the UK, including 1,187 in Scotland.
Campaigners from Anyone’s Child: Families for Safer Drug Control – a network of families who have lost loved ones and are now campaigning for the legal control and regulation of the drugs market – will be attending the summit and calling on policy makers attending to take urgent action to stop this needless suffering.
Families are calling for the UK government to put health rather than criminal justice at the heart of the UK drug policy and ultimately for the strict legal control and regulation of the market so that doctors, pharmacists and licensed retailers are in control rather than organised criminals.
As Katrina Thornton of the Anyone’s Child Project, who lost her brother said; “We hope that these drug summits will turn talk into action. It upsets me to see the figures for drug deaths at record levels year after year. The UK Government is complicit in these deaths because it will not try the successful measures that have been shown to work in other countries. Behind each figure is a real person: someone who once had hopes and dreams – as did my brother. They are collateral damage of the UK Government’s failed drug policies.
“Those of us in the Anyone’s Child campaign can see the evidence of what works – including legally regulating drugs. We are heading to the summit to demand change to stop the tragedy from getting worse.”
Spokesperson for the Anyone’s Child Campaign Jane Slater said:
“We hope that our policy makers will announce real change to our outdated and failing drug laws and show leadership in this important area. We need to address the crisis because the drug laws as they stand can harm anyone’s child. Keeping drugs illegal isn’t keeping our children safe, it’s putting them in danger. Our voices must be heard and our politicians must listen. We need to put governments in control of the drugs market, so that families are better protected.”