Evening Telegraph (First Edition)

Concerns as addiction tsar resigns after four months


PROGRESS in tackling Dundee’s drugs crisis has hit a major stumbling block after one of the leading figures resigned suddenly after just four months.

John Wyllie has stepped down from his role as independen­t chairman of the Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnershi­p (ADP), which aims to improve access to treatment locally.

The former detective, who has cited personal reasons for the decision, was only appointed in November last year.

The announceme­nt by Dundee City Council contained no comment from Mr Wyllie, but a spokespers­on for the ADP said he had provided “excellent leadership” during his short spell.

Dundee is one of the worst places per capita for fatal overdoses in Europe and there has been significan­t focus on how to tackle the massive social and public health problem in recent years.

There were record drug deaths across the country year-on-year between 2013 and 2020, when they reached a high of 1,339.

There were 52 drug-related deaths in Dundee and 1,330 nationally in the most recent year available in 2021, representi­ng a slight fall.

It comes after the last man in the role, Simon Little, also resigned suddenly last summer amid concern over slow progress.

Local politician­s have expressed concern at the two sudden resignatio­ns.

North East MSP Michael Marra,

of Labour and Tess White, of the Conservati­ves, both raised the issue at Holyrood yesterday.

Ms White said she was concerned any momentum could be lost, while Mr Marra said there are “real concerns” in the community.

He added: “Does the minister have confidence the ADP can deliver change under the current model and what can we do to make sure there’s long-term, sustained leadership in Dundee, where these problems are so ingrained?”

Scotland’s minister for drugs policy Angela Constance said in response: “I am absolutely focused in ensuring all ADPs, including the one in Dundee, get the right support.”

 ?? ?? Former chairman John Wyllie.
Former chairman John Wyllie.

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