HOLYROOD has voted to explore how safe drug consumption facilities can be established following a debate about Scotland’s drug deaths crisis.

The motions state that the Scottish Parliament “considers that safer consumption facilities are an important public health measure that could save lives, and supports all options within the existing legal framework being explored to enable the delivery of these facilities”.

A Scottish Conservative amendment was rejected by 70 votes to 34 with 19 abstentions and a Scottish Labour amendment was rejected by 100 votes to 23.

The unamended motion was passed unanimously.

The Scottish Government has long been in favour of drugs consumption rooms, which would provide a safe area with medical supervision for people struggling with addiction to take drugs.

But the UK Government has stood against the idea, refusing to grant a waiver to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 that would allow for the users and staff to be protected from prosecution.

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The first facility was planned by Glasgow City Council but other local authorities have expressed an interest.

The plan would allow people to take their own, illegal drugs, to a supervised centre where they can inject in safer conditions.

They would have clean equipment and clean surroundings to reduce the risk of infection and would be supervised to reduce the risk of overdose.

They would also be offered access to health, and other, services to help them off drugs in the longer term.

Councillor Mhairi Hunter, chair of the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “This is a welcome step forward in the shared agenda to reduce drugs-related deaths in Scotland.

“Drug-related deaths are a public health emergency and those with lived experience of addiction; clinical and care professionals and politicians are all agreed that this sort of facility can play a key role in reducing harm.

“Glasgow has publicly expressed its willingness and readiness to locate a Safer Drugs Consumption Room within the city. Considerable work has been undertaken at a local level around the operation of consumption room and we’ll continue to engage and consult to ensure that if this proposal is progressed, all arrangements are in place for a safe and successful service."

More to follow.