One of the gifts of recovery is enjoying the rights and responsibilities of being a productive & contributing member of society. One of the benefits of being an active citizen in the UK is being able to vote.

You can register here:

You can find out who your current MP is here




Plaid Cymru


‘drug misuse can have a debilitating effect on people and their loved ones. Howeverr, the current hardline approach to drugs criminalises citizens who have an addiction but does nothing to help them overcome their problems. It also criminalises people may use drugs medicinally or recreationally but who do no harm to others

Rather than focusing services on all drug users, we believe we should focus on the small number of people with dependency and seek to address the underlying causes of their misuse via checkpoint Cymru.

Drugs have been decriminalised in Portugal since 2001, enabling a public health approach to drug users; dissuading new drug users and encouraging dependent drug users to enter treatment whilst focusing police resources on those who profit from the drugs trade.

By sending the message that drug users are not criminals, the reform has contributed towards a greater tolerance and integration of drug users into society. It has reduced the stigma around drug use and has allowed more users to access the treatment they need.

Moreover, drug use in Portugal has decreased since decriminalization. Its drugs prevalence is below the EU average and, for example, it now has the lowest rate of cannabis use in the EU. Rather than turning more people towards drugs, decriminalization has allowed people to receive the treatment they need.

For these reasons, Plaid Cymru is calling for a National Commission on reforming drug law’


‘Plaid Cymru will adopt a ‘housing first’ philosophy – as implemented in

countries like Finland – to support those that are homeless. Recovery

programmes are more successful after an individual has been housed.

Being asked to be abstinent and/or sober whilst homeless prior to

receiving housing is impractical.’


‘Community-based interventions are more effective at reducing re-

offending and social exclusion than short-term imprisonment. Short


custodial sentences offer limited opportunities for rehabilitation and

many people leave custody with the same underlying issues as when

they entered.

We believe that a preventative approach across health, criminal

justice, education and other settings is more effective in tackling

youth offending. Addressing the underlying causes of crime, such as

protecting children from abuse or neglect, is proven to reduce criminal

behaviour. In civil matters, early intervention and sound advice can

prevent the involvement of the courts and can reduce hardship for many


As part of our preventative approach, we will implement a long-term

substance use harm reduction strategy. Problems and deaths from

substances are more prevalent in Wales than other parts of the UK.

We want to reduce substance use and substance related deaths by

investing in a long-term strategy. This should focus on harm reduction

through a wide range of services and education programmes that treat

problematic substance users as patients rather than criminals.’



‘We do not believe that super-prisons are the most effective way of

combating crime nor the best use of our resources. That is why we

opposed the building of the Berwyn super-prison in Wrexham and the

proposed super-prison in Port Talbot which was scrapped due to our


Entering the criminal justice system can either be a symptom of or

cause longer-term issues. These include homelessness, mental health

issues and substance misuse. Almost 25% of Welsh inmates were

homeless when they entered prison, over 90% of prisoners have at least

one of five psychiatric disorders, and there was a 475% increase in drug

finds in prisons over the last year.

Poverty and poor health are being criminalised. This needs to change

by ensuring that support services are well-funded and by tackling the

underlying issues that can lead to criminality.’


Scottish Labour

p 37.


Labour’s workplace policies and investment in housing, education and communities will enable the root causes of health inequalities to be addressed.


Drug deaths in Scotland have more than doubled since 2008 and the latest figures show that in 2018 more than 1,000 people died from drug misuse in Scotland. A Labour government will establish a Royal Commission to develop a public health approach to substance misuse, focusing on harm reduction rather than criminalisation.


In Scotland, addiction services need to be better integrated with mental health treatment. Scottish Labour want increased resources for communitybased interventions and restoration of alcohol and drug partnerships’ funding levels to replace the over £40 million of real terms cuts that services have faced since 2014/15.


Alcohol consumption is still at harmful levels in Scotland so we support restrictions on licensing, marketing, labelling and affordability. To improve alcohol treatment and early intervention programmes for families with children Scottish Labour want to see the implementation of a social responsibility levy on alcohol sales.

p 44

To be effective, our police must serve their communities and work collaboratively with youth workers, social workers, mental health services, schools, drug rehabilitation programmes




Smarter justice requires cross-government action to reduce the impact of adverse childhood experiences and to break the vicious cycle of poverty, inequalities and crime. We would champion a joined-up, trauma informed approach, fostering close working relationships between criminal justice and education authorities, health services and others. We will build on  the brilliant work done by the Violence Reduction Unit and ensure vulnerable people get the support they need. This is only possible with a government committed to boosting support for public health, mental health and early years services. Prison is not the best place to address the drug addictions, mental illnesses and debts that lead many people into crime.

(does not make further comment on how these issues will be explicitly dealt with, esp. drug addition)




p19 ‘Addiction Drug addiction fuels crime, violence and family breakdown – and new dangerous substances are driving an increase in deaths from drug abuse. We will tackle drug-related crime, and at the same time take a new approach to treatment so we can reduce drug deaths and break the cycle of crime linked to addiction.’


The nature of this treatment is not outlined.


p46 ‘Alcohol Duty Review: Scotch whisky is a national export that supports 42,000 jobs across the UK. Yet the tax on each bottle of Scotch sold in this country represents almost three quarters of its price. That is why over the past two years we have frozen the duty on spirits, cutting the price of a bottle of Scotch by 30p. Now, we want to do more, which is why we will review alcohol duty to ensure that our tax system is supporting British drink producers.’




The SNP Scottish Government has introduced a minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland after the UK Supreme Court unanimously approved Scottish Government plans. Minimum unit pricing was passed unopposed in the Scottish Parliament and backed by public health professionals, the police and alcohol charities.


We will also invest an additional £20 million in alcohol and drug treatment and support services to back up our new alcohol and drug strategy, Rights, Respect & Recovery, which sets out our ambitions around multi-agency support. This is in addition to the £746 million we have invested to tackle problem alcohol and drug use since 2008.

snp manifesto




Tackling the drugs crisis SNP MPs will call for the devolution of drug policy so the SNP Scottish Government can take all the steps needed to tackle addiction, reduce health risks and take the vital steps to tackle drug-related deaths and harm in Scotland.


Pushing for a new approach on drugs 

The SNP sponsored a Private Members Bill aimed at legalising safe drug consumption rooms for people suffering from addiction. The Bill would create safe consumption rooms to help reduce the number of people dying from drug overdoses and tackle a rise in HIV among drug users.




In 2018 there were 1,187 drug-related deaths in Scotland – the highest since records began. Each death is a tragedy for the victims and their families. In response, the SNP Scottish Government recently established a task force to tackle this problem in partnership with frontline agencies, those in recovery, and their families. However, we know there is much more that can be done at a UK level to tackle drug deaths. In the House of Commons, Alison Thewliss introduced a Private Members’ Bill aimed at legalising safe drug consumption rooms. The facilities have been proposed by Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership, and has gathered cross-party support from MPs at Westminster and a majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, as well as the unanimous backing of Glasgow City Council. However, the Home Office has repeatedly ignored the evidence and blocked the proposals – refusing to allow the facilities to be piloted. The Scottish Government is unable to implement the proposals due to the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act being reserved to Westminster. It is only with a strong group of SNP MPs returning to the House of Commons that we will be able to pressure the UK government to heed the evidence and take action.


Experts and those with lived experience stress that a Supervised Drug Consumption Facility (SDCF) could reduce the harm associated with drug use, and afford those with a drug addiction the dignity of a safe, clean space where they can engage with support services. Drug deaths are a public health emergency and we desperately need a fresh approach. The Tories have displayed a shocking lack of empathy towards people struggling with addiction. If the UK government refuses to act, then they must devolve the powers to Scotland so that we can step in and help to save lives.



Powers to tackle the drug crisis Recent statistics showing a rise in the numbers of drugs deaths in Scotland means that we must act urgently to save lives. The Scottish Government has put in place a further £20 million over two years to support local services and provide targeted support but we want to go further and take the radical step of creating a supervised Drug Consumption Facility (SDCF) in Glasgow. The Scottish Parliament has backed these plans and MSPs from all political parties – except the Conservatives – have united to call on the UK to change the law and allow the facility to be opened. It will save lives and make our streets safer. Despite this, the UK Government has refused consent. This decision is actively preventing Scotland tackling vital issues that are a matter of life and death to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. SNP MPs will therefore call for: • the devolution of Misuse of Drugs Act to allow for the full range of effective public health measures to tackle the drugs death crisis, and • pending that devolution, the UK Government to introduce a Supervised Drug Consumption Facility

Labour p.34



We will address drug-related deaths,

alcohol-related health problems and

the adverse impacts of gambling

as matters of public health, treated

accordingly in expanded addiction support

services. Alcoholic drinks will

be labelled with clear health warnings.

We will review the evidence on

minimum pricing.


Lib dems.


The prohibitionist attitude to drug use of both Labour and Conservative Governments

over decades has been driven by fear rather than evidence and has failed to tackle

the social and medical problems that misuse of drugs can cause to individuals and

their communities. Liberal Democrats will take a different approach, and reform

access to cannabis through a regulated cannabis market in UK, with a robust

approach to licensing, drawing on emerging evidence on models from the US and

Canada. To combat the harm done by drugs, we will:

  • Move the departmental lead on drugs policy to the Department of Health and

Social Care, and, crucially, invest in more addiction services and support for

drug users.

  • Divert people arrested for possession of drugs for personal use into treatment,

and imposing civil penalties rather than imprisonment.

  • Help to break the grip of the criminal gangs by introducing a legal, regulated

market for cannabis. We will introduce limits on the potency levels and permit

cannabis to be sold through licensed outlets to adults over the age of 18.

Our approach will support and encourage more clinical trials of cannabis for medicinal

use to establish a clear evidence base. In the meantime, we will allow those who feel

that cannabis helps to manage their pain to do so without fear of criminal prosecution.





Ending the war on drugs Taking drugs can be dangerous but prohibition of drug use has created many more problems than it has solved. Over the last 50 years, the international war on drugs has been a resounding failure. Harmful drug consumption has markedly increased and has given rise to a multi-billion pound illegal industry that has fuelled organised violent crime and caused untold social and ecological destruction. There is little evidence for the two core assumptions that form the basis of current UK drug policy:

1. That supply-side enforcement can reduce drug availability and use.

2. That the criminalisation of people who use drugs is an effective deterrent.

The Green Party recognises that people have always and will always use drugs, including alcohol. Drugs perform many purposes in society, including recreational use and as part of medical treatment. Seeking to prevent drug use is demonstrably futile; we need a radically new system grounded in harm reduction. Government needs to strike the right balance between responsible adult drug use and the potential harms of problematic use. The taxes and licence fees that will apply to drugs under our proposed system will raise significant revenues.

Some of these revenues will pay for the harm that drug use can cause, including NHS time. Our Green plan to reduce harm and adopt an evidence-based approach will:

> Repeal the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.

> Pardon and expunge the criminal records of all individuals previously convicted for possession and small-scale supply of drugs.

> Enable medical scientists to conduct research on psychoactive drugs to develop new treatments for mental and physical illnesses.

> Invest in education and treat problematic drug use as a health issue, not a crime, building on the successful approaches pioneered in numerous other countries.

> Replace the current system of prohibition with an evidence-based, legalised, regulated system of drug control. The production, import and supply of all drugs will be regulated according to the specific risks that they pose to the individual, to society and to the environment.

> Make heroin available on prescription after a medical assessment by a doctor and provide safe facilities for users who inject drugs, building on the success of drug consumption rooms in other countries which have encouraged more problematic drug users into treatment.

> Regulate access for adults to stimulant and psychedelic drugs based on the evidence around harm reduction through pharmacies, after a safety consultation with a qualified pharmacist, at fixed doses and fixed prices.

> Make cannabis, labelled according to laboratory-tested strength, available to adults from licensed small businesses Cannabis will be sold subject to minimum unit pricing and plain packaging.

> Allow for licensed Cannabis Social Clubs where adults can collectively cultivate and consume cannabis and allow adults to grow a limited number of cannabis plants at home.

> Prohibit commercial advertising of alcohol (and all other drugs) and introduce minimum unit pricing, which has been shown to reduce harmful drinking in Scotland.

> Set up an independent statutory body, the Advisory Council for Drug Safety, comprised of experts, who will be responsible for monitoring patterns of drug use, advising the government on changes to regulation and sourcing socially and ecologically sustainable supplies of opium and coca from the Global South.