The leader of Glasgow City Council has called for bold action to tackle the Scottish drugs deaths emergency. 

Susan Aitken spoke at the Scottish Drugs Deaths Conference at the SEC in Glasgow today. 

It comes just a day before the UK Government holds its own event on the matter in the same venue tomorrow. 

Aitken addressed delegates saying that the drug deaths were most acute in Glasgow but said that the city could lead the way to find solutions nationwide.

The National:  

There were 1187 drug deaths in Scotland in 2018. Glasgow had the highest number of drug deaths at 280 but the rate of death was slightly higher in Dundee.

"New approaches are necessary to target those most at risk," Aitken said. "Glasgow has to be bold and effective."

She said there were around 500 people who regularly injected drugs in public spaces including lanes, car parks and public toilets. 

READ MORE: Safe drug consumption rooms are ‘effective’, admits Tory MSP

She renewed calls for a space dedicated to safe drug consumption to cut down on the risks associated with dirty needles and anti-social behaviour. 

Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government have been calling for a safe consumption room in recent years, but the UK Government has repeatedly refused to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act to allow such a centre to move forward.

The event is organised jointly by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council. Sessions are including contributions from Public Health Minister Joe  FitzPatrick and Aitken.

The discussions will help inform Scottish input to the UK Drugs Summit. There will be training in the use of Naloxone which reverses the effect of an opioid overdose and a model of a safer drug consumption facility.