MSP raises issue of opioid addiction at FMQs

MSP raises issue of opioid addiction at FMQ’s
Regional Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, David Stewart raised the issue of opioid addiction to the First Minister during FMQ’s today (02/05/2019).
David Stewart asked the First Minister in Holyrood today, what assessment the Scottish Government has made regarding opioid addiction after The Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Dally Davies, spoke to The Sunday Times highlighting how serious the issue of painkiller addiction has become.
Opioids such as morphine, tramadol and fentanyl are super strong painkillers, which can be highly addictive and can have serious health consequences.
Speaking at FMQ’s, David Stewart said: “Opioids contributed to 815 drug deaths in Scotland in 2017, does the First Minister share my serious concerns about addiction that is created by super-strength opioid painkillers, which have a dark side and can ruin lives every bit as much as illegal drugs can?”
The First Minister highlighted that Mr Stewart has raised these “legitimate” concerns in the past and that achieving a comprehensive picture of opioid use is a challenge due to the nature of illicit drug taking.
She added that the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland and a short-life working group of experts would examine the trends relating to long-term strong opioid prescription in Scotland.
Speaking after FMQ’s Mr Stewart said: “Opioid addiction is becoming a growing concern, and it’s imperative that the Scottish Government tackles it now before it gets any worst.”
Mr Stewart continued: “I understand that the Scottish Government has to examine trends relating to long-term opioid use however, it’s not dealing with the immediate issue and growing trend. Continued use of opoid over a long period can lead to addiction, which we all know can have life-altering consequences. I will continue to press for change so that this trend of opiate drug addiction can be stopped in its tracks.”