THE Scottish Government has unveiled a £68 million package of measures aimed at tackling the country’s drug deaths crisis.

The Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce was disbanded last year after publishing its last report in July and told ministers there was more that “must be done” to tackle drug deaths in Scotland.

In a response published on Thursday, drugs minister Angela Constance said the country continued to “face a public health emergency” as she unveiled measures ministers would fund until 2026.

The money is not all new cash – some was allocated in the most recent budget and in other announcements – but the measures constitute a plan the Government hopes will result in Scotland losing its title of Europe's drug deaths capital.

READ MORE: FMQs suspended as oil protester shouts from public gallery

This included £30m for health boards to fund treatments for addiction-specific treatments for GPs and other primary healthcare services and half a million pounds to explore the feasibility of providing cut-price public transport to people with substance abuse issues.

The Government said it would also pledge £18m for stabilisation services and crisis care, £4.3m for an “action plan” to tackle the stigma associated with drug use, £5.5m for programmes supporting families and children affected by drug use.

A plan designed to hire and train the right number of workers equipped with the skills to treat and care for people with drug problems will be given £3.4m extra funding, the Government said with an extra £3.3m to expand training to help staff treat people with trauma.

Another £2.4m was also pledged to improve care for people with addiction and mental health problems.

Constance said: “Every drug death is a tragedy and unacceptable. We continue to face a public health emergency and cannot underestimate the scale of this crisis.

READ MORE: Minister defends 'Tory agent' bid to limit BBC's Brexit reporting

“The Drug Deaths Taskforce was formed to provide independent expert advice on our response to this emergency and this cross-government action plan includes a broad range of initiatives which will not only support the complex needs of people who use drugs but also help support prevention and early intervention.

“This publication outlines our whole-government commitment to addressing this challenge and ensuring that people with problem substance use can access all the services they need and are entitled to. 

“I thank the taskforce members, past and present, for their important contribution. The final report, Changing Lives, has provided us with clear, evidenced recommendations and our response outlines a new, even more ambitious, phase of our mission to save and improve lives.”