AN exasperated Scottish MP has hit out at the UK Government’s “shameful” lack of action to facilitate a Supervised Drug Consumption Facility in Glasgow in light of today’s new figures, which reveal the shocking scale of Scotland's drug deaths.

Data from the National Records of Scotland shows a record 1187 drug-related deaths were registered in Scotland last year compared to 934 in 2017; an increase of 27 per cent.

Alison Thewliss, the SNP MP for Glasgow Central, has been a consistent campaigner for the opening of a Supervised Drug Consumption Facility[SDCF] in her constituency, where there is a significant drug-injecting population; she introduced her own Bill to this effect in 2018 but it has not progressed. The Home Office has refused to grant the necessary legal exemptions to allow any facility to operate.

READ MORE: Scotland's health minister makes urgent plea to UK over rising drugs deaths 

"These latest figures are heart-breaking and clearly show what Scotland faces in terms of drug deaths is an emergency,” declared Ms Thewliss.

"The uptick in drug deaths from 2017 to 2018 is unprecedented and validates the work that has been done by Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership in planning for a SDCF - as part of a wider programme of measures - to tackle the problem.

“That the Home Office have refused to entertain these plans or to even meet with me to have a discussion about the issue is utterly shameful. Their blind commitment to outdated ideology over saving lives is unforgivable.

"How many people need to die before Tory ministers will finally admit there is a problem? Their obstinance has a human cost and never before has it been so pronounced.”

Last month, Ms Thewliss raised the issue of a SDCF at Scottish Questions, telling David Mundell: “People in my constituency are dying for want of a safe consumption room. Will he come to meet people in Glasgow to see why such rooms are very much needed to reduce harm and to save lives?”

The Scottish Secretary replied that the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee was currently undertaking an inquiry into drug use in Scotland and the Government would want to consider its report first.

The SNP backbencher said decision-makers had to get out from behind their desks at Westminster and go to Glasgow to see the scale of the escalating problem.

“The UK Government's position is absurd, especially when you consider that there is cross-party support for plans at Westminster, Holyrood, and Glasgow City Council, which were passed unanimously.

READ MORE: Drug death rate in Scotland at record high 

“A safer consumption facility is not a magic bullet and wider action is needed to ensure the public health approach that Scotland wants to take is embedded in all services. I welcome that the Drug Death taskforce chaired by Professor Catriona Matheson will promote what works, however challenging that may be.

“But if the UK Government continues to ignore the evidence, then the taskforce will be fighting with one hand tied behind their back,” insisted Ms Thewliss.

She added: "Today's figures should be a clarion call to the UK Government; lives are being needlessly lost in Glasgow and Scotland. Please help us save them.”