A GREEN MSP has called for police in Clackmannanshire to be routinely issued with a drug used to treat overdoses of heroin.

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MSP, has called for police to be routinely issued with the drug naloxone, used to treat overdoses of heroin and other opiates.

Statistics show that in 2019 there were 15 drug related deaths in Clacks.

Opiates such as heroin were implicated in the majority of drug deaths across the country.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP has challenged Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s justice minister, to ensure front line officers are swiftly given access to the lifesaving drug naloxone and trained on how to administer it.

His intervention follows First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of £250m to tackle Scotland’s drug crisis.

Mark Ruskell said: “The police are frequently the first people on the scene when addressing a drugs overdose.

“I am glad that trials are starting soon in Falkirk, Dundee and Glasgow on the administration of naloxone, but that doesn’t help people suffering now from addiction in Clackmannanshire.

“Officers can be trained to administer the medication in a matter of a couple of hours and that investment can undoubtedly save lives.

“We know this medication works and we know it can save lives.

“This Scottish Government has acknowledged that we’re facing a drugs crisis and that they’ve failed to address it.

“The funding announced yesterday is a welcome step towards addressing those failures but we can’t afford to overlook these simple and effective solutions.”