Drugs Strategy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 10 March 2016.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

Yes. Since the publication of “The Road to Recovery” in 2008, supported by Scottish Government investment of £254 million in frontline services, there have been substantial improvements across a range of areas. Drug taking in the general adult population is falling, drug taking among young people is the lowest in a decade and there have been significant reductions in the length of time that individuals wait to receive treatment for their drug problem, with 93 per cent now being seen within three weeks of referral. However, we are not complacent, especially with the reported level of drug-related deaths having risen substantially and given the complex health needs of a vulnerable, older cohort of persons who have an addiction.

We have also witnessed a huge rise in the number of recovery support groups in communities across Scotland. There are now more than 100 such groups meeting regularly, led by people in recovery, making recovery from addiction visible across the country. That is hugely important in demonstrating to those with an addiction that many can and do successfully complete the recovery journey.