Douglas Ross has said he would not oppose a pilot scheme on drug consumption rooms in Scotland.
However, the Scottish Conservative leader said these facilities should not be seen as a “silver bullet” in tackling drugs deaths.
His party is proposing a Right to Recovery Bill at Holyrood which would enshrine the right to treatment for addiction in law.
The Scottish Government is currently considering whether it can establish drug consumption rooms, with Deputy First Minister John Swinney saying there were “active discussions” around the legal hurdles.
Mr Ross told STV News he still had “serious reservations” about the facilities but the high rate of drugs deaths in Scotland meant every option should be considered.
He said: “We know from the most recent figures almost four people every single day in Scotland are dying from drugs.
“And that’s why I’m saying we have to look at every option.”
The Scottish Conservative leader continued: “I’m being clear, I still don’t think this is a silver bullet, I don’t think this is going to solve all our problems.
“But, I’m not going to stand in the way of getting further evidence.
“So, I’m not going to oppose a pilot, if that’s what the Scottish Government are going to bring forward.
“But crucially, even those who ardently support these consumption rooms also say they can’t be on their own.
“We need far better rehab facilities and treatment available, which is why it has to go hand-in-hand with my own members’ Bill that I’m taking forward in the Scottish Parliament, a Right to Recovery Bill, to enshrine in law that everyone who wants support can get it.”
In 2017, the then lord advocate, James Wolffe QC, refused to back plans to set up a drug consumption facility in Glasgow.
However the current lord advocate, Dorothy Bain QC said the issue would be given “fresh consideration” earlier this month.
Angela Constance, the minister for drug policy, said: “I welcome this change in position from Douglas Ross, as we know from the evidence that safer drug consumption facilities can help save lives in Scotland.”
The MSP said she hoped the UK Government would work with the Scottish Government to introduce the policy as quickly as possible, but added: “I note that Mr Ross states his view that the UK Government should not stand in the way of safe consumption rooms being piloted and I hope he will now join me in pressing them to allow us to move ahead with their introduction without hindrance.
“Meanwhile, the Lord Advocate has recently indicated a willingness to look at a fresh proposal for a safer drug consumption facility and we are actively exploring how we can overcome the existing legal barriers to allow us to progress this.
“We have been clear that these facilities are not a magic bullet, and alone will not be the answer to our tragically high numbers of drug deaths. That’s why we continue to invest in the improvement of service and increasing the rehabilitation bed capacity in Scotland.”
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