Scottish government announces £250 million for drug treatment
The Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced an extra £50 million per year in funding for drug treatment provision. This will amount to £250 million over the course of the next 5 years. The increase in funding is in response to high levels of drug-related overdoses. Rates of drug-related deaths in Scotland are higher than in any EU country and are 3.5 times higher than in the UK overall. In 2019 there were 1,264 drug-related deaths in Scotland .
The new funding will run from April 2021, with an extra £5 million allocated to cover the end of the current financial year (2020/21) enabling changes to be made immediately. The funding will be used to increase the number residential rehabilitation spaces available and to increase funding for Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and addiction treatment services. The new funds will also be used to widen distribution of naloxone to people who use drugs, their families and carers.
The first minister also announced that the Scottish government will review the legal processes that have previously blocked initiatives intended to prevent overdose such as heroin assisted treatment and supervised injecting rooms.