In less than a month, voters across the UK will go to the polls to vote for their Members of Parliament.

While Brexit is undoubtedly the biggest focus of the campaign, we have joined with other HIV and hepatitis C charities in Scotland to issue a call for action from the next UK Government on drug-related deaths.

Last year in Scotland, 1,187 people lost their lives to drug-related deaths, a rate per head of population nearly three times that of the UK as a whole. Alongside this, we are also experiencing the largest outbreak of HIV in the UK since the 1980s, affecting people who inject drugs in Glasgow city centre.

Although most drug policy is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the aspects set by the UK Government continue to have a significant impact on Scotland’s response. In light of this, we are calling on Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for Scottish constituencies to commit to urgent action to reduce both drug-related deaths and HIV and hepatitis C transmission in Scotland.

Our campaign calls for a public health, rather than a criminal justice approach to drug policy, including calls for the introduction of Drug Consumption Rooms, highlighting the wealth of international evidence pointing to their effectiveness in reducing drug-related harm.

We’ve also recognised the findings of two recent reports from Westminster Committees and back their calls for consultation on the decriminalisation of possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use across the UK.

We’ve written to all Scottish candidates in the upcoming elections, asking for their support in calling on the next UK Government to take urgent action to reduce both drug-related deaths and HIV and hepatitis C transmission in Scotland.

You can find out more about our campaign from this short briefing prepared for candidates.