THERE is no one size fits all solution to Glasgow’s drug problem.

The drug-related death figures next week will show another increase to new record levels in the city and across Scotland.

It must lead to a renewed focus on action to reduce the harm from drugs in our city.

The figures will scream out a big shocking number, but beyond that big number is a variety of strands.

READ MORE: Drug deaths are public emergency

There is the ageing population of people using heroin and other opiates, many on a methadone programme. They will make up the biggest number of deaths, a legacy of the explosion of heroin in the late 1980s and 1990s.

These are the people who need treatment and rehabilitation services. They need interventions to stop them from overdosing and then treatment to try and get them drug-free.

The Safer Drug Consumption Room proposal would undoubtedly help with that.

It has been proven to work in many other countries and it is a scandal it is not allowed to be done in Glasgow, where it is needed most.

The law needs to be amended and exemptions in place to allow this to go ahead.

It is simplistic to look at the statistics and only see the older drug user, with complex problems and as they age a variety of health issues, and think that in a few years the figures will improve.

No one deserves to be written off and left to die.

It is worrying there has also been a steady number of younger people in the figures, a rise in cocaine use, deaths from ecstasy, deaths from new powerful ‘street blues’.

They represent different types of drug use and require different solutions from education, to enforcement and action on trafficking.

It is clear the current approach is not working as effectively as hoped.

Drug traffickers and dealers still need to be targeted. They are preying on young people and their profits rely on making people’s lives worse and that surely cannot be tolerated.

But when people are in need of help, they must be treated as such.

In making changes, which are necessary, it must not send out a message that drug taking is acceptable. Drugs cause harm, they destroy lives.

The figures on Tuesday will show more than one thousand families in Scotland who could testify to that.

There needs to be a serious national effort to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people of all ages from various substances.

In doing so we need to strike a balance between enabling legal changes to allow better treatment and a health-based approach and not allowing drug dealers and traffickers to profit from other people’s misery.


THE domestic football season is back after a brief break which was refreshingly filled with the women’s World Cup.

How long will it be this season before there are warnings from politicians that the sport’s authorities need to get its house in order or government will step in?

Whether it’s violence on the pitch, abuse from the stands, missiles and pyrotechnics thrown or mass sectarian signing, there is no shortage of potential flashpoints as we enter another season.

READ MORE: Wee Red Book is back better than ever

The focus will be on the two big Glasgow clubs but others are not immune, with incidents, abuse and stupidity to be found among supports across the country.

The women’s game took a giant leap forward this summer and it is to be hoped that the exposure and excitement it created, especially among young female fans, translates into more women and girls playing football and attending matches.

Just like the women’s game is different from the men’s on the pitch, it is different off the pitch as well.

Glasgow Times:

There was undoubted commitment from the players, intense rivalry and passionate support from the fans but without the ugly side we too often see in the men’s game.

No-one wants a sterile atmosphere but many fans at the men’s game need to have a look in the mirror.


TOMMY Robinson was jailed for contempt of court after his irresponsible social media video posting put a child sex abuse investigation and trial in danger of collapse.

READ MORE: Tommy Robinson jailed

He arrived at court wearing a t-shirt with the slogan ‘Convicted of journalism”.

Glasgow Times:

Every real journalist knows the importance of court reporting restrictions and the need for contempt law.

The episode highlights the need for strong, professional journalism.