Glasgow is in the midst of a drug-deaths crisis. 

Figures released by the National Records of Scotland in July 2019 showed the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had the highest average number of drug-related deaths in the last half-decade.

Meanwhile, Glasgow City Council had the second-highest average among local authority areas.

This week two drug summits will be held in the city - one by the Scottish Government on Wednesday ahead of the UK Government event on Thursday.

And now Police Scotland have launched their new strategy aimed at tackling the crisis - by backing the Scottish Government in their approach of making it a public health issue, not a criminal one.

READ MORE: Mock drug consumption room to be on show at Glasgow deaths summit

Together with representatives from Glasgow City Council's Health and Social Care Partnership, British Transport Police, Positive Outcomes Project and Police Scotland's Safer Communities division - the strategy is aimed at helping the force understand the needs of addicts.

The 12-month delivery plan includes raising awareness of referral options available to officers who come into contact with vulnerable people, with internal training being launched to improve understanding of people living with addiction.

Superintendent Gary I’Anson, who is leading the strategy, said: “The strategy is about improving our understanding of drug addiction and how we can play our part in the wider public health approach to tackling drug-related deaths.

“Police officers are often the first responders to incidents so our approach and understanding of drug deaths and drug crime can be crucial.

“We already feed into other multi-agency groups, such as Alcohol and Drug Partnerships, but this strategy gives us an opportunity to directly influence local policing actions while combining the views of partners."

READ MORE: Two drug summits to take place in Glasgow

The strategy will also involve increasing work with people who have experience of being addicts, as well as training for campus officers to deliver education within secondary schools.

Superintendent I’Anson added: “One agency alone will not reduce drug related deaths and it is not solely Police Scotland’s responsibility to do this.

"However we must maximise what we can do, help change attitudes and try different options.

“There is no quick solution to reducing drug related deaths. We look forward to implementing and reviewing this strategy over the next 12 months not only to help those with addiction, but to improve our communities.”