News story

Date set for UK-wide summit in Glasgow on tackling drug misuse

The UK government has set the date for its Glasgow summit on tackling drug misuse as 27 February 2020.

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Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service, Kit Malthouse, will chair the summit.

The summit will bring together drug recovery experts, health professionals, government ministers and senior police officers from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They will discuss how to work together to best prevent deaths related to drug misuse, which reached 4,265 across the UK in 2018, with more than a quarter of those deaths happening in Scotland.

The event will also boost collaboration between the UK government and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland administrations on this UK-wide issue with Professor Dame Carol Black, the independent reviewer of drugs, presenting her findings to the devolved administrations at the summit.

Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service, Kit Malthouse, who will chair the event, said:

People are dying from drugs every day across the UK, and this summit will bring us together to tackle the issue of drug misuse.

We must have firm enforcement action and do all we can on prevention, recovery and treatment too.

I look forward to meeting key individuals from across the UK and listening to their views on addressing this challenge.

Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack said:

The high numbers of lives lost to drugs in Scotland is a tragedy, a huge cause for concern.

I am pleased that the UK government is to bring experts together from all parts of the country, to share experience about tackling this terrible scourge.‎

Jo Churchill, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, will also attend the event.

Senior police officers are invited to the summit, as are the Drug Recovery Champion, Dr Edward Day; Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, the Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; and representatives from the National Crime Agency.

Representatives from Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care will also be invited to attend, along with their counterparts from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

While the legal framework relating to the misuse of drugs is reserved for the UK government, the Scottish and Welsh governments and the Northern Ireland Executive have their own approach to preventing the harms of drug misuse in areas where responsibility is devolved, including healthcare, criminal justice, housing, and education.

Published 24 January 2020