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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 19:55 GMT
MSPs agree on drugs policy revamp
MSPs want less reliance on methadone
The SNP and the Tories have reached a deal at Holyrood which should lead to a revamp of Scotland's drugs policy.

The deal forms part of negotiations between the two parties in advance of Wednesday's vote on the Scottish Government's budget.

Ministers have agreed to draft a new strategy involving less reliance on methadone and a potentially greater stress on promoting abstinence.

The agreement comes after the Tories suggested a number of initiatives.

Replying to a number of issues raised by Conservative MSP Bill Aitken, Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing agreed that the expenditure on drug rehabilitation had been opaque and unclear.

He said: "We agree that this has led to difficulty in quantifying the total amount of spend on drugs abuse and measuring how effective that expenditure is."

Ministers have also pledged to study the effectiveness of current spending - with the aim of boosting the resources available to frontline services.

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