RICHARD Lucas (a former Ukip member) and leader of the highly unsuccessful Scottish Family Party does not get off to a good start by stating (Letters, September 14) that those of us who want to see drug harms mitigated believe overdose prevention centres and drug consumption rooms ("DCRs") are "safe" - around the world though and evidence-based, they are without doubt safer places to take drugs: fact.

Don't take my word for it, there are hundreds of examples of even naysayers and sceptics in the drugs space who have accepted the fact that no one has ever died in a properly-run overdose prevention centre, also known as a safer consumption room. I was surprised he did not, as others have such as the Christian Institute and other right-wing vehicles like the Daily Mail, unhelpfully use the term "shooting gallery".

There is not enough space to challenge each of Mr Lucas's misinformation points around the Lord Advocate's statement on Monday but in short why on earth would anyone in their right mind want to cause harm to anyone? The Lord Advocate's position achieves the opposite, keeping everyone safer.

Fear and stigma spread by the Scottish Family Party (less than 1,000 votes in Scottish elections 2021) is despicable.

The highly-respected Harm Reduction Journal during August 2022 published a paper from academics across several universities, including but not limited to the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research at the University of Stirling.

Inter alia this stated: "Family members demonstrated varying levels of understanding regarding the existence, role, and function of DCRs. While some expressed concern that DCRs would not prevent continued drug use, all participants were in favour of DCR implementation due to a belief that DCRs could reduce harm, including saving lives, and facilitate future recovery from drug use."

The Salvation Army's position, that stands up well agin Mr Lucas and his party, is: "We follow a harm reduction philosophy, supporting people to stay as safe as possible and minimise risks to themselves and others."

I wonder, as seems the case, Mr Lucas's so-called Family Party would prefer to see family members caught in possession of drugs in a prison cell rather than a therapeutic environment?

I suspect the party's manifesto for the Hamilton West and Rutherglen by-election will get short shrift. It should.

Douglas McBean, drug policy reform campaigner, Edinburgh.

• JUST to clarify matters, according to Adam Ant I’m a “goody-two-shoes”; I don’t drink (almost), don’t smoke, don’t do drugs etc. The fact of the matter is that a lot of Scots do and there is absolutely nothing that the “Holy Willies” that assume moral superiority can ever do about it. The fact that self-appointed arbiters of behaviour have in the past deemed that some materials will be “illegal”, a decision perhaps made after a few glasses of port and a cigar, has obviously had no effect on consumption of these materials by a significant proportion of the population other than increasing their difficulty in obtaining material of verifiable quality.

It’s long overdue that the likes of Richard Lucas woke up and smelled the coffee or after a walk down Great Western Road smelled the cannabis. They need to accept that drugs like cannabis, heroin, alcohol, tobacco and obesity facilitators such as sugar, pork pies and fish suppers all contribute to unnecessary deaths and the problem is not going to go away by making them illegal or bumping up the price.

The best that those who promote social change can do is to try to reduce the pressures that force consumers to over-indulge and to offer non-judgmental assistance when they need it.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

Read more: There is no such thing as the safe consumption of hard drugs

Perpetuating the crime gangs

I AGREE absolutely with the seven points made by Richard Lucas regarding the provision of consumption rooms to allow addicts to use illegal drugs.

I would like to add an eighth point to his list. As these drugs cannot be purchased legally the users must continue to buy them from organised criminal gangs, hence perpetuating this heinous business.

I would also add that there seems to me to be a deep irony in creating a facility that would allow one to indulge in a criminal act.

According to the website you can get a fine or prison sentence if you take or carry drugs. You can be imprisoned for up to two years for possessing a class C drug, up to five years for a class B drug and up to seven years for a class A drug.

How on earth can facilitating this illegal activity be right?

David Clark, Tarbolton.

Don't stop the satire

WHAT has happened to Scotland? We Scots used to be known for having a sense of humour, we loved Spitting Image as much as everyone else in the UK and our politicians could see the funny side of themselves and we laughed at them.

It appears however that satire is only acceptable now if it is done to anyone but the Scottish Government and woe betide anyone who mocks the SNP and Green politicians. Janey Godley mocked Boris Johnson and Liz Truss with her voiceovers without a word of complaint from anyone. BBC Scotland however made the big mistake of running satirical political cartoons that poked fun at not just the opposition but also the Scottish Government leaders - Humza Yousaf and Lorna Slater. Ms Slater’s colleagues described the animation of her as “nasty” and “dreadful” for satirising her use of taxpayer-funded cars ("Backlash over BBC cartoon depicting Green MSP as ‘Limo Lorna’", The Herald, September 14). Heaven forbid. What has the world come to?

The BBC has now stopped the political cartoons and removed them from its website.

Political satire has been around for generations. Free speech and expression is the lifeblood of democracy yet it is being stifled by politicians who can’t take a bit of ribbing for entertainment. If the royal family could cope with being satirised, today’s politicians should learn to grin and bear it.

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

• OF course the BBC should not publish cartoons making fools of nationalist politicians. It is completely unnecessary.

Michael Sheridan, Glasgow.

Read more: Stop picking on teachers and put pressure on the parents

China not a threat to UK

ACCORDING to Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith we are being spied upon and our security threatened. He does not explain how we are being threatened, or what China would have to gain by these actions.

Are we a threat to China? Of course not. Why would China want to attack us? We are one of their major export markets, what would they have to gain?

The United States now considers China to be a threat to world peace despite the fact that the whole of the Chinese eastern seaboard is ringed by US military bases. Mr Smith made the point that it was America who saw China as a threat and he, thanks to our "Special Relationship", agreed with them. The only danger that China poses to the US is that within the foreseeable future China will overtake it as the world's largest economy. China in its past history was never an outwardly aggressive nation, they built the world’s largest wall to the barbarians out. As far as I can see nothing has changed.

Ed Robertson, Newton Mearns.

Don't panic on global warming

THE fact that the recent increase in global warming is man-made is beyond dispute and I certainly do not query it. However the planet is still warming as we emerge from the last ice age. What I think must be in dispute is the almost hysterical reactions to severe winds and floods.

The science that has effectively proved global warming has also demonstrated that this would cause a decrease in average rainfall and wind speeds. Therefore these localised events, tragic as they may be, are not as a result of global warming.

If the average person was to ignore the hype, it would become apparent that we are talking about a quite small increase in global temperature. The Earth has gone through this before, without a catastrophe happening. The global warming predicted with good science behind it will almost certainly happen and I doubt if we can do anything about it. However, does it really matter so very much?

Are we not getting into a panic about something which has already happened in the distant past with no noticeable disaster? Perhaps it is time for people to think rationally about this and not be swayed by western governments who may possibly have their own agenda.

James Evans, Dumbarton.