Response to Drug Deaths Taskforce report
Constance announces £68 million action plan to save and improve lives
Almond Valley MSP, Angela Constance in her capacity as Scotlands Drug Policy Minister announced in Parliament last week (13 Jan) the Scottish Government’s response to the final report from the Drug Deaths Taskforce.
More than 80 actions supported by £68 million over the course of this parliament term are outlined in the response to the Changing Lives report.
Measures are being taken across a broad range of areas including employment, justice, transport, education and health and social care to improve the lives of those affected by drugs and their families.
The response is underpinned by two principles – that services treat problem drug use the same as any other health condition and that people with lived experience are involved in policy decisions.
Many of the action points made by the Taskforce are already being addressed but new announcements include:
• £30 million ringfenced from the Enhanced Services Allocation to NHS territorial Boards from April 2023 to support specific drug treatment services within primary care settings
• £18 million to develop stabilisation and crisis care services, in addition to the £100 million already available for residential rehabilitation
• £4.3 million for a Stigma Action Plan which includes an accreditation scheme for organisations to improve awareness and challenge stigma across public life
• £5.8 million for new programmes for children and families including the expansion of Routes, a young person’s support group run by Scottish Families Affected By Drugs
• £3.4 million additional funding to deliver a workforce action plan and expand the Addiction Workers Training Programme run by the Scottish Drugs Forum and an additional £3.3 million to expand trauma training
• £2.4 million to improve care for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions to build on the recommendations set out in the recent rapid review.
• £0.5 million for an initial pilot to expand the concessionary travel scheme to include people with a substance dependency
Angela Constance MSP said
“Every drug death is a tragedy and unacceptable. We continue to face a public health emergency in West Lothian and across Scotland and cannot underestimate the scale of this crisis.
“This new plan will scale up our national mission to save and improve lives affected by drugs and will improve the well-being individuals, families and communities.
“We must treat drug and alcohol problems the same as any other health condition and that our actions are informed by real life experience. This helps to tackle stigma which is a barrier to people and their families seeking and receiving the help they need.
This £68 million will help get more people into the right treatment at the right time, address the underlying causes of addiction, seek to prevent the harms caused by drugs in the first place and mobilise support across a range of services.
“With the right support and help people can and do recover from drug and alcohol problems’
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