A BILL to change the law to give people dealing with drug and alcohol addiction the right to recovery has been launched.

The aim is to ensure people have access to quicker and more effective treatment.

The Scottish Conservatives leader, Douglas Ross, introduced the Bill at Holyrood and urged the Scottish Government to back it to ensure it becomes law.

READ NEXT: Number of families in homeless B&Bs in Glasgow doubles

It would provide people with a legal right to treatment within three weeks and allow greater access to rehabilitation.

The Bill has been developed with recovery advocacy charity Favor in response to Scotland’s growing drug death crisis.

The most recent figures show in 2022, 1051 people died from drugs and 1276 from alcohol.

Estimates for 2032 show another increase to 1197 drug-related deaths.

Annemarie Ward, chief executive of Favor UK, urged every MSP to back it if they are serious about helping some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

READ NEXT: 'Devastating': drug deaths show massive rise in Glasgow

She said: "Scotland cannot keep failing the most vulnerable people in society. The drug death crisis has hit the poorest communities the hardest.

"Until the Scottish Parliament overhauls the treatment system, more families will be left broken from the pain of losing a loved one.

"The Right to Recovery Bill would help people at death's door get the treatment they need and deserve.

"I hope every single politician who wants to help vulnerable people in Scotland will engage with the Bill and consider supporting it."

Ross, when he put the Bill before Parliament, said the First Minister must give it his support.

He said: "This crisis is our national shame and our most vulnerable cannot continue to see those in charge fail to take the necessary and decisive action required to save lives.

"As this Bill launches today, in the spirit of him saying he wants to work across the chamber, I urge John Swinney to throw his weight behind it, so it can become law as soon as possible."

The Scottish Government said it would consider the proposals.

Christina McKelvie, Drugs and alcohol minister, said: “ We're already taking a holistic, human rights-based approach where problematic drug use is treated as a health, not a criminal matter.

“Our £250 million national mission - informed by people with lived and living experience - aims to get people into the treatment and recovery that is right for them while supporting them to address other social and economic needs.

"We're also supporting the 'national collaborative' process to develop a Charter of Rights for people affected by substance use through engagement with communities across Scotland.

"The most recent benchmarking report highlighted substantial progress in the rollout of our life-saving Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards which aim to improve access and choice of treatment.

"We'll continue to drive this, as well as expand access to residential services and community-based support, mental health services and housing. This approach reflects increasing concerns about increasingly unpredictable and toxic drug supply which potentially impacts a much wider group of people using drugs."