YOU wait years for politicians to face up the nation’s drug deaths crisis then, like buses, two summits come along at once.

When they were announced, much was made of the Scottish and UK Governments both staging separate events in the same Glasgow venue on back-to-back days.

Could the frosty relations between the SNP- and Tory-led administrations on opposite sides of the border be any clearer?

If this week’s summits are to be more than just talking shops the rival factions have to abandon their chronic habit of passing the buck and petty point scoring.

The UK summit ban on displaying a mocked-up safe consumption room, exhibited the day before at the Scottish Government’s event, was a new low in already drawn-out and dispiriting legal wrangle.

So who is to blame? Yes, Westminster has pushed through austerity policies which squeezed Holyrood’s budget.

It is also true that most of those dying now are older addicts of the ‘Trainspotting’ generation whose health is failing decades after they started using amid the doom and gloom of a recession-hit Tory Britain of the early ‘90s.

But the Scottish Government also decides how much to invest in health here and what on, and in the last five years spending on alcohol and drug treatment programmes in the community was cut by £47 million in real terms.

Funding for residential rehabilitation has been slashed so deeply that the number of beds available to NHS patients has fallen from 352 in 2007 to just 70 today. No wonder providers say it is “almost impossible” for addicts to get a place in such a facility unless they can afford to bankroll it themselves.

We are surely at a bizarre point when - as the Herald reported this week - Castle Craig near Edinburgh admitted just four NHS Scotland patients for drug or alcohol treatment last year, while 292 patients from Holland (funded through the statutory medical insurance schemes that all Dutch citizens are legally obliged to pay into) took up the majority of slots.

Both countries drug deaths are on the rise: Scotland has gone from 574 in 2008 to 1,187 in 2018, with the figures for 2019 expected to be even worse, while the Netherlands went from 99 in 2007 to 262 in 2017.

By population, however, Holland’s drug death is below the EU average and only a fraction of Scotland’s so perhaps we really could learn from their example?

But first, our leaders must stop the infighting and put people over politics.