GR Direct - Sony - Save up to £300 on selected Bravia OLED & LED TVs
Thursday 30 May 2024
 10.5°C   NNW Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Substance use a health issue that needs compassion

A vigil was held in the Lerwick flower park last week.

USERS of legal and illegal drugs are some of the most vulnerable people in society, and they should be treated with compassion and not as criminals.

That is the message from drug workers and drug reform campaigners who last week held a vigil in the Lerwick flower park to remember those who have lost their lives to drug overdose in Shetland.

Drug deaths have been increasing in recent years, as is the case across Scotland, with four Shetlanders dying from overdose in 2020. A recent spate of drug deaths in 2021 shows that upward trend continuing.

Manager of the Shetland Recovery Hub Amanda Pearson said: “Where the law treats them as criminals, it’s our duty as caring citizens to counter that stigma with compassion. We’re working to support drug users and I’m looking forward to making more progress in Shetland to further reducing drug related harm.”

Drug reform campaigner Alex Armitage said: “Our drugs laws should be keeping people safe but instead they are fuelling drug related harm.

“Despite the heartbreaking reality of the number of overdose deaths in Shetland, it’s a comfort to see an increasing number of people who are resolute in their determination to reform the law and change our society’s attitude to drug use.”

Development officer for Shetland’s Alcohol and Drugs Partnership Wendy McConnachie added: “Each death is the loss of a loved one. People who use alcohol or other drugs are not ‘other people’ – they are us.

“Substance use disorders are a health issue and should be treated as such, without judgement.”

Help is available in Shetland by calling the Recovery Hub on 01595 744402 or the Substance Use Recovery Service on 01595 743006.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.