‘Why can’t we reverse this shameful trend of DRDs?
EACH YEAR the cross-party parliamentary group meets to review the ONS data on drug-related deaths, and each time frustrations surface at the lack of progress (page 11). We have the evidence, we know the contributing factors – why can’t we reverse this shameful trend?
Looking at the drug-related death rate in Wales as a ‘national state of emergency’ Martin Blakebrough says that nothing but a ‘radical approach’ will do (page 6). ‘It is unacceptable that the UK continues to fail its most vulnerable people,’ he says. Meanwhile our cover story (page 8) offers a perspective from Canada, where activism provoked political pragmatism to tackle their public health emergency. Jussi Grut draws a parallel with our situation in the UK.
The horrific rise in drug-related deaths has made access to diamorphine a ‘sane, reasonable’ option, says Nick Goldstein (page 14). But, he cautions, we have to think very carefully about the way we implement diamorphine programmes, so that they actually reach those who aren’t currently in treatment and who make up a vast proportion of the DRD statistics.
We’ve talked about this for long enough. We have the knowledge and experience to avoid knee-jerk reactions and get it right.
Claire Brown, editor