DOUGLAS Ross has told reporters that he has never used recreational drugs in his life.
The Scottish Tory leader was asked if he had ever used illegal drugs during a briefing with journalists after visiting a Glasgow rehab facility with Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier today.
He was also asked if he had taken them, which was his experience. “I think I’m right when I say the answer is no and no. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question before,” he said.
“Obviously I don’t look like someone you should even ask that question to. I’ve led a pretty sheltered life, I’d say on the farm. The worst part was going to a young farmer’s dance and probably drinking too much. drink. But I’ve never used drugs in my life.”
Commenting on his comments, Annemarie Ward, of FavorUK, who advocates for people recovering from drug addiction, said Ross was lucky with his upbringing.
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She told The National, “Douglas Ross was lucky he didn’t grow up in one of our poorest communities, because if he did, he would be 18 times more likely to die from drugs.”
The chief minister and leader of the Scottish Conservatives agreed to pay a joint visit to see the work of a community group in Glasgow’s Haghill district to help drug addicts recover.
Ahead of the event at Bluevale Community Hall, the organization’s founder, Kenny Trainer, said drug users are dying while “political leaders argue” and failed to take necessary action to tackle Scotland’s drug crisis.
Trainer welcomed the Scottish Conservatives’ plans to guarantee Scots affected by substance abuse a legal right to drug and alcohol treatment, but also said the £20 cut on Universal Credit imposed by the UK government last month was a ” big problem” was in his community.
He urged political leaders to work together, saying: “Douglas Ross supports a Right to Restoration Act, which is what we stand for, and Nicola Sturgeon is close to the end of the £20 Universal Credit increase.
“They’re both right.”
Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Trainer continued: “While both political leaders are arguing and although it takes months to get anything done, people are dying in the streets, people are turning to addiction.
“If you look 20 years ago, we had less than 300 drug deaths a year, now we have 1,300, so what does that tell you?
“The services that are there now are not working because things are getting worse and people are not using the services because they are being sent from pillar to post.”
Bluevale helps more than 1000 households each year through sports, youth, older people and community work and by trying to tackle poverty and drug use.
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When asked about the prospect of drug use areas where users could potentially use drugs in a safer environment, Trainer suggested that they would only be effective if they were close to recovery services that can provide people with additional support.
The visit came after Sturgeon challenged the Scottish Conservative leader to take her to a working-class neighborhood in the wake of the British government slashing £20 a week on Universal Credit.
Ross agreed but also suggested visiting the Bluevale Community Club as he pushed for more action to tackle Scotland’s drug problem.