Drug recovery services must improve in Scotland if the drug death rates are to be reduced, campaigners have said.

Services are inaccessible, rehabilitation choices are restricted, and people are still being punished for addiction, according to a leading recovery advocacy group.

Faces and Voices of Recovery (Favour Scotland) are urging politicians and government to refocus on tackling drug deaths.

The latest annual figures showed that in 2020 there were 1337 drug related deaths in Scotland and in Glasgow city it hist a record high of 291.

There is little sign of improvement with initial police reports for 2021 show that there is estimated to be at least one a day in Greater Glasgow area.

Favour are calling for candidates in the local council election to back their five point pledge to improve services.

It includes the right to the highest standard of mental and physical health, the right to recovery in the criminal justice system and the right to objective information on evidence-based pathways to harm reduction and recovery.

The group also asks for the highest standards in specialist care and for politicians to provide meaningful representation to people with addictions.

Favor is holding its Recovery Rising Exhibition and Conference in Glasgow today to highlight economic and academic arguments for transforming services from “perpetual addiction to recovery based”.

Annemarie Ward, Favor Scotland CEO, said Scotland’s politicians must get re-focused on the solutions to the drug death crisis.

She said: “In the middle of a cost of living crisis, it’s essential that Scotland’s politicians don’t forget that more than a thousand people are dying in this country every year from drug addiction and most of the people who die come from our poorest communities and will be hit far harder than everyone else.

“Our report on the landscape across Scotland highlights yet again that our addiction services are woefully inadequate. Even with the rise in investment, which is very welcome, services are not delivering the help that people who are suffering need and want.

“Our report clearly outlines that many services act with impunity and serve themselves rather than the people seeking help.”

Favour point to reports by the Auditor general that there are flaws in Scotland’s drug addiction treatment system, including problems identifying where the money is going and what value the current investments are delivering.

Ms Ward added: “When even the Auditor General can’t identify where this funding is going, we surely have to ask ourselves if it’s time to do things differently and bring in different organisations to provide leadership and better support for people and families who are suffering.”