Funding pots opened for rehab services in Scotland's drugs deaths battle

New funding to help tackle Scotland’s drugs problem includes more cash for residential rehabilitation services.

The Scottish Government is making £18 million available to help improve services, with the cash split across four funding pots.

Under the plans, a £5 million recovery fund for additional residential rehab capacity will be established, with not-for-profit organisations working in the sector able to apply for a share of the money.

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The cash is part of £250m additional funding already pledged by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over the next five years to help tackle Scotland’s drug deaths crisis, with 1,264 such fatalities recorded in 2019 alone.

The funding opens have been opened to help with drug rehabilitation services. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Drugs minister Angela Constance said the government was determined to ensure “people can access whatever treatment is right for them, in the right place at the right time”.

In addition to the recovery fund, £5m is being invested in a new improvement fund aimed at providing better outreach services for treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare, with dedicated support for women.

There will also be a £5m local support fund to help increase capacity in community and third sector organisations, while a £3m families and children fund will help organisations which support those affected by drug use.

Ms Constance said the four new funds would “support the development of consistent treatment standards around the country and ensure more people can get access to services that can reduce harm, provide treatment and ultimately save their lives”.

The minister added: “We have said a national mission is needed to tackle the drug deaths emergency and this additional £250m over the next five years will improve and increase services for people affected by drug addiction.

“These funds make more resources available to community and third sector organisations and offer support to families affected by drug use.

“As I have said before, we are determined, as part of our national mission, to make sure that people can access whatever treatment is right for them in the right place at the right time.”

Former public health secretary Joe FitzPatrick lost his job in government in December on the back of Scotland recording its highest ever number of drug deaths, prompting the promotion of Ms Constance to the position of drugs minister.

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