Hilary Long: There's no shortcuts - tackling poverty and alienation is the only route to addressing Scotland's drugs crisis
CommonSpace columnist Hilary Long looks at a new report on destitution and Scotland’s new drug death stats, finding that overcoming deep rooted social ills will require confronting the causes of poverty directly
TWO headlines this week should be making our politicians hang their heads in shame.
Analysis: Blame Westminster for drug deaths record - and blame 20 years of Holyrood conforming to British norms
CommonSpace editor Ben Wray says shocking new Scottish drug death statistics cannot be blamed just on one party, or one parliament – it’s a collective political failure more than 20 years in the making
THE new figures on drug-related deaths in Scotland are simultaneously shocking and predictable.
1,187 deaths last year, 27 per cent higher than the previous year. Drug deaths have doubled since 2008, and for the first first time more people died from drugs than alcohol this year. Drug deaths in Scotland are the highest in the EU.
Ronnie Cowan MP: Why we should at least consider decriminalising drug use in the UK
Inverclyde MP Ronnie Cowan explores what drug policy reform could look like and how other countries have tackled it
JUNKIES, crack-heads, stoners. They all want to steal your TV to pay for their next fix.
If you turn your back they will have your wallet. Because that's the sort of people they are. You should view them with suspicion and discount them at the first opportunity, because it saves time. You will do it eventually. These people are itinerant criminals and drug use is an extension of their chosen lifestyles.
David Carr: We need to talk about drugs
CommonSpace columnist David Carr injects some reality into the debate on drug decriminalisation
DRUGS POLICY is on the Scottish agenda, following Irish proposals to decriminalise possession of small amounts of drugs and provide safe facilities for consumption. Commentators agree that we must have a debate. Opinion veers towards decriminalisation - possibly legalisation.
This is reasonable. Illegality is no help to problematic drug users. Globally, the war on drugs is lost - but has destabilised producer countries.
So is the debate sewn up?
Joseph Ritchie: Forget minimum pricing, why don't we aim to make intoxication a safer hobby?
Joseph Ritchie examines whether developing safe practices of intoxication rather than trying to price alcohol out of the market or put limits on consumption would help solve Scotland's problem
IN Iain M. Banks' Culture novels, the negative side effects of traditional 'drugs' have been engineered out while the positive effects have been enhanced and refined.
This permits the users a wide range of enhancements and mental resources for life's euphoric ups, challenging lows and tedious plateaus.