Stuck on drugs

I AM very disappointed that there have only been two letters commenting on the number of drug deaths each year in Scotland (your report, 18 August).

A lot of emotion is spent on debating the kind of political and economic independence we want for Scotland but sparse comment about the kind of culture we want our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to grow up in.

I refuse to believe most people don’t care. From my involvement in this field over the past 20 years, I sense across every 
sector of civic life a profound wistfulness for change.

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Why do we apparently care so much but feel we can do so little? I suggest it is because we are “stuck”. The problem seems too large – intractable – for any one agency to make a measurable difference. We look to our politicians, public health professionals, police and courts to provide a solution when, in fact, the solution must lie in the nation as a whole. We are the culture of Scotland. We need to start a “movement” beginning with ourselves.

The recent improvement in health through the ban on smoking in public places took 20 years and started from what seemed at the time to be a modest, even contentious, beginning. Type Independent Drugs Enquiry Report into any search engine and see what you think and what you and your colleagues can do.

John Matthews

Independent Drugs Enquiry

Strada, University of Glasgow