Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon is calling for urgent action from the Scottish Government after the country recorded the highest number of alcohol-related deaths in 13 years.
Statistics released by the National Records of Scotland  showed that there were 1,245 alcohol-specific deaths in Scotland in 2021 – 179 of these in the NHS Lanarkshire area.
Monica, a Scottish Labour and Co-operative representative, has consistently called on the Scottish Government to provide better support for people and families affected by alcohol harm since being elected in 2016.
It is an issue close to the MSPs heart following the alcohol-related death of her own father, Gerry Ward, who passed away 12 months before Monica’s election to the Scottish Parliament in 2016.
Monica is also co-convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Drug and Alcohol Misuse.
She said: “I know all too well that behind each of these figures lies heartache and suffering, and my thoughts are with those who have lost their lives and the families and friends they have left behind.
“The loss of a loved one to alcohol-related harm is difficult to bear with so many traumas and what-ifs to carry on top of the grief.
“There is not nearly enough support for people and constituents regularly contact my office begging for help because they don’t know where to turn.
“The SNP was warned time and time again that funding cuts to alcohol and drug partnerships would lead to an increase in deaths, and sadly that is exactly what has happened.
“The recovery community lives by the mantra ‘one day at a time’ and I remain hopeful that the Scottish Government, all political parties and key organisations will work together to implement the right changes to ensure that vital, life-saving support is immediately available to all who need it.”
“I don’t want other families to lose a loved one in this way.”
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