National & Local Strategies

The Road to Recovery, the National Drug Strategy published by the Scottish Government in 2008, references recent studies which concluded that there is an estimated 55,000 problem drug users currently in Scotland. This equates to 1 in 50of our population aged between 15 and 54 experiencing or creating medical, social, psychological, physical or legal problems because of their use of opiates such as heroin and other drugs.

Similarly the most recent estimation states that at present in Scotland there are between 40-60,000 children affected by the drug problem of one or more parent and the associated risk factors which accompany drug misuse.

The Scottish Government have estimated that drug misuse has an estimated economic and social cost of £2.6bn per annum.

The Scottish Government published Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action in March 2009. Alcohol misuse is widely recognised by health experts as one of Scotland’s most pressing public health concerns and the ‘Framework’ addresses issues around reducing alcohol consumption, tackling the damaging impact alcohol misuse has on our families and communities, encouraging positive attitudes and positive choices and improving the support and treatment available to tackle alcohol misuse. The Framework for Action recognised that alcohol misuse is much more prevalent across Scottish society than previously recognised. As a result the Framework adopts a whole population approach, as well as recognising that some vulnerable groups require a more targeted approach.

The drugs strategy "The Road to Recoverywas published in May 2008. This sets out a significant programme of reform to tackle Scotland’s drug problem. Central to the strategy is the concept of recovery - a process through which individuals are enabled to move on from their problem drug use towards a drug-free life and become active and contributing members of society.

The drugs strategy and the alcohol ‘Framework’ both signalled the need to ensure that local delivery of alcohol and drugs services was effective, efficient, accountable and able to contribute to national and local outcomes.


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