Staff and people we support fell silent in memory of loved ones, after the latest drug-related deaths statistics were released.

Services across Turning Point Scotland took part, not just the ones supporting people for alcohol and drug misuse, in Ayrshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh up to Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Staff, people being supported, family and friends all joined together in solidarity and to ensure their memories lived on.

934 drug-related deaths were registered in Scotland in 2017, an 8% rise from the previous year and the largest number ever recorded.

Turning Point Scotland’s Glasgow Drug Crisis Centre Service manager Patricia Tracey said:

“Days like today are important for people to share the memories they have and the positive role that person played in their lives.

Turning Point Scotland understands the devastating impact problematic substance use can have on individuals, families and communities.

Whilst today is about quiet reflection about people we have lost, we want to use this opportunity to highlight the support available to anyone affected by problematic substance use.

Turning Point Scotland offers harm reduction, access to treatment and recovery services and people can seek support at the Glasgow Drug Crisis Centre, the Abstinence Project in Glasgow and Renfrew, the North East Edinburgh Recovery Service and the Aberdeenshire Substance Support Engage and Treatment (ASSET).

The emphasis should be on helping people to keep safe, reduce harm and when they feel ready enable them to get support rather than punishing or stigmatising them.”

Turning Point Scotland Director of Operations Wendy Spencer said:

“Each person lost to drug use is an individual tragedy and has a devastating impact on children, families and friends.

934 individuals were lost to a drug-related death in Scotland.

If 934 people died in a single tragedy, after the initial shock and sadness, quite rightly there would be intense scrutiny and clamour for changes in the law or policy to prevent it ever happening again.

We should not however lose hope that we can reduce the number of drug-related deaths.

There are many individuals and organisations working hard to reduce the risks posed by drug use and offer support.

There are many positive stories of people who have engaged in services and changed their life.

There are also many great initiatives out there and innovative practice, we are using assertive outreach to reach individuals at risk, often living alone, to offer the use of Take Home Naloxone to reduce the number of fatal overdoses and access treatment.”

Women from our 218 service were among our services across Scotland who held a minute’s silence.

Following the silence they threw white roses, traditionally associated with remembrance and new beginnings, into the River Clyde.