Skip to main content

Committee to hear real-life experiences of problem drug use

17 May 2019

The Scottish Affairs Committee will hold a series of outreach events and evidence sessions in Edinburgh and London next week for its inquiry into problem drug use in Scotland.

The Committee's activities next week are part of its inquiry into problem drug use in Scotland, which looks at why Scotland has a disproportionately high rate of problem drug use and drug related deaths, and how the UK and Scottish Governments can work together to better address the underlying drivers of substance misuse.

Monday 20 May, Edinburgh

On Monday 20th May the Committee will be in Edinburgh meeting with public sector bodies and advocacy groups who deal with problem drug use. Scottish Drugs Policy Conversation will help facilitate the discussion at the Cornerstone Centre (St John's church). The stakeholders have varied views, and will discuss with the Committee what the UK Government should be doing to better address problem drug use in Scotland. The Committee will then hear first-hand testimonials from individuals who have lived experience of problem drug use in a session facilitated by Recovering Justice. Both sessions will be held in private.

After these sessions, the Committee will meet with members of the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee at Holyrood. The Scottish Affairs Committee will invite their Scottish Parliament colleagues to contribute to the drugs inquiry, by participating in future evidence sessions and outreach events.

Tuesday 21 May, London

On Tuesday, the Committee will hear further real-life stories from individuals and families who have been affected by problem drug use. The first session, which will be in public, will involve speaking to people who have been through drug addiction, and have first-hand experience of the treatment services currently provided. The Committee will hear how their drug use started, how criminal justice interventions, hospitals and rehabs have affected them, and the extent to which stigmatisation has been a barrier to recovery.

The second session is in private to protect witness identities. The Committee will hear from families affected by problem drug use, as well as the CEO of Scottish Families Affected by Drugs, Justina Murray. The Committee will discuss how a person's problem drug use can affect the wider family. A redacted transcript will be published in due course.


Tuesday 21 May 2019, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

From 10.15 am

Panel One: Individuals with lived experience (public)

  • Colin Hepburn 
  • Sharon Webster 
  • Scott Ferguson 
  • Hannah Snow

Panel Two: Families with lived experience (private)

  • Families
  • Justina Murray, CEO, Scottish Families Affected by Drugs

Further information

Image: CC0