Never Use Alone: A free hotline for drug users has been launched in Scotland.
The Never Use Alone number, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will allow trained staff to stay on the line with people who are using drugs in order to keep them safe.
As part of efforts to reduce record numbers of deaths, Scotland is launching a free telephone hotline for people who are in the process of using illegal drugs.
The Never Use Alone number, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will allow trained personnel to stay on the line with people who are using drugs to ensure their safety.
The service will be trialled in Glasgow and North and South Ayrshire before being rolled out across the country later this month.
The charity We Are With You will run the hotline, which will be supported by £100,000 in Scottish Government funding.
Last year, 1,339 people died in Scotland as a result of drug misuse, an increase of 75 over the previous year’s figure and the seventh year in a row that a new record has been set.
The country has by far the highest drug-related death rate in Europe, more than three-and-a-half times higher than England and Wales.
“This phone line is about keeping people safe,” said Andrew Horne, executive director of We Are With You.
“Our staff will ensure that they are aware of the substances that an individual has taken and intends to take.”
They’ll also be able to pinpoint their exact location in the event that emergency services are required.”
Angela Constance, minister for drugs policy, said the hotline “will undoubtedly play a role in addressing Scotland’s drug deaths crisis.”
“Many of those who have died as a result of drug use were alone at the time, and I encourage people to use this service to help them stay safe,” she continued.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is attempting to establish a drug consumption room in Glasgow, where people can safely consume illegal substances.
Last week, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said that officials were “actively exploring” how to get around the legal obstacles to such a facility.
It comes after the Lord Advocate intervened.
News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.
Never Use Alone: Scotland establishes a free hotline for drug users.
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Never Use Alone: Scotland launches free hotline for people taking drugs