The soaring number of people across Angus hospitalised after taking drugs proves the SNP strategy on the issue has failed, the local MP has said.
New figures have revealed 141 people were rushed to hospital from across the area after taking illegal substances in 2017/18.
That is an increase from 117 the previous year, and double the number from when the SNP came to power in 2007.
The Scottish Conservatives have said the rising figures show the SNP government’s approach to drugs has failed.
The party called for the justice system to get tougher on the dealers who bring misery to Scotland’s communities, and better support for users who want to beat the habit for good.
Across Scotland, rates of hospital admissions reached their highest ever, with 12,498 admission last year, a four-fold increase from two decades ago.
Opioid drugs like heroin accounted for the majority of admissions, but there were also increases in those rushed to hospital after taking cocaine.
Scottish Conservative MP for Angus, Kirstene Hair, said:
“The SNP has had 12 years to develop a drugs strategy that gets tough on dealers and helps vulnerable addicts.
“But its failure to act is letting down the people of Angus.
“These figures show a rise in hospital admissions for people who have taken drugs.
“But what the figures do not show is the destruction these illegal substances cause to communities across Angus and the devastating human cost behind that.
“Clearly the police need more support in tackling the drug dealers within our communities, and much more help needs to be provided to users themselves – most of whom desperately want to be off drugs altogether.
“This is yet more evidence that SNP has been too focused on its own self-interested constitutional ambitions, and has not spent enough time on these domestic issues that really matter to people.
“We need a new approach from a party of government, and that is why this country needs fresh leadership in Holyrood in 2021.”