Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Thursday, 21 June 2012 11:37 UK

Family support for drug addicts debate

Conservative MSP Nanette Milne told MSPs that each death from drug abuse represented "a family devastated and a community scarred", on 21 June 2012.

Ms Milne was leading a debate on family support groups and said that they played a "vital role by enabling families to communicate with others in similar situations" and build relationships.

She said and that stigma and discrimination put barriers in the way for recovery and it was "well recognised that Scotland still has an enormous problem with drug addiction".

Ms Milne also said simply returning addicts to the community without support was ineffective, it should be acknowledged that relapse was part of recovery and even after recovery from addiction it took time to rebuild a life.

Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham said she wanted to make clear the Scottish government's commitment to support for families and communities.

Ms Cunningham said the role of families was key to success of the Scottish government's national drugs strategy 'The road to recovery' .

She also said it was "clear that stigma is a significant barrier to accessing help" and "is not tolerable in the 21st century".

Labour MSP Neil Bibby said drug abuse affected a significant number of people in Scotland, many of those being children who through no fault of their own faced neglect because of parental drug misuse.

Mr Bibby also wanted to highlight the contribution that grandparents and kinship carers made.

He said that family support groups offered the type of support and non judgmental environment that helped recovery.

Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes said support for families was vital and "it shouldn't be an after thought".

Ms McInnes also said ongoing support in the community was essential for the ongoing recovery journey.

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