By Alfa · Nov 17, 2005 ·
  1. Alfa

    New Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie will this week accuse ministers of blowing AUKP11 million on "publicly funded drug addiction".

    Miss Goldie has chosen to attack the Executive's drugs strategy in her first major speech since succeeding David McLetchie as Scots Tory chief last Tuesday.

    On Monday the West of Scotland MSP will tell a Glasgow conference that the harm reduction approach has left 19,000 Scots addicts "parked" on methadone, the controversial heroin substitute.

    "It is a well-known fact that methadone is more addictive that heroin, yet this is virtually the only option open to many drug addicts across Scotland," she will claim.

    "Essentially the Scottish Executive is spending AUKP11 million a year on publicly-funded drug addiction.

    "Every pound spent on this so-called harm reduction route is a pound not spent on rehabilitation and the real fight against drugs."

    Miss Goldie is addressing a conference hosted by the Maxie Richards Foundation, a pro-abstinence group which supports addicts and blames widespread methadone prescribing for Scotland's persistent drugs problems.

    The new Tory chief acknowledges that methadone can help some addicts move to a more structured existence, but she will claim Scotland has become trapped in "a spider's web of confusion" over what is acceptable and safe.

    "The message emanating from central government should be simple and clear - drugs are dangerous, illegal and if you break the law consequences will follow," Miss Goldie will say.

    She is demanding ministers adopt a "zero tolerance" approach to rid Scotland of drugs altogether and will accuse them of ignoring expertise in the voluntary sector.

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