POLITICAL leaders appear to have “forgotten Scotland’s drugs death crisis” campaigners claimed, as they published a report calling for changes to treatment services.

The group Favor – Faces And Voices Of Recovery – claimed there is still a “postcode lottery” in terms of treatment for users, with referrals to residential rehab centres “inconsistent”.

It published its report a year after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross visited a community group in Glasgow set up to try to help addicts.

Kenny Trainer, founder of the Bluevale Community Centre, said: “We were delighted to welcome the First Minister and other politicians to Bluevale last year but what we said then, still applies now. Scotland’s politicians need to wake up to the reality in our communities.”

Some 1330 people lost their lives to drug misuse in Scotland in 2021, a drop of 1% from the previous year.

Favor Scotland chief executive Annemarie Ward said: “Our report identifies the deep-rooted problems and outlines a series of recommendations to improve how we treat people.

“It looks like politicians have forgotten about Scotland’s drug death crisis. We hope our Blueprint to Save Lives will remind them communities are still suffering and they need to act.”

Some authorities refuse to refer users to residential rehabilitation services outside their local area, the report claims. It adds that “some people have been waiting years for appointment services” and claims that in many cases treatment “is solely pharmaceutical” with no mental health support.

The report calls for a centralised referral and funding system and guidelines be brought in to ensure mental health support is provided.

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Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance said: “As we do all we can to help families cope with the cost of living crisis, we’re even more focused on supporting those affected by problem substance use, delivering real change on the ground and implementing approaches we know can help save lives.

“Anyone who needs support should have access to whatever type of treatment or recovery works best for them.

“For some it will be Medication-Assisted Treatment but it could be rehabilitation in the community or residential placements. That’s why we are investing £100 million in residential rehabilitation over the course of this parliament.”

Ross said: “I was proud to visit the Bluevale Community Centre with the First Minister but it is clear that they have been badly let down ever since by her government.”