Quarter of drug addicts 'wait more than a year for care'

MORE than a quarter of drug addicts due to receive treatment have been waiting for more than a year, figures showed yesterday.

Statistics revealed that, at the end of last year, 26 per cent of those requiring an appointment for treatment had been waiting more than 12 months.

And the proportion of addicts waiting for an initial assessment who had been on a list for more than a year was 27 per cent.

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Figures showed that between October and December last year, a total of 6,034 addicts were offered an appointment to be assessed for treatment. Of these, 65 per cent were offered an appointment within a fortnight.

However, the figures also showed that, on 31 December last year, 3,151 addicts were waiting for an assessment. And 27 per cent of those – a total of 766 addicts – had been waiting more than a year.

Last night, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: "Where concerns over waiting times exist, we are working with the local alcohol and drug action team to help address them."

The administration is due to publish a new national strategy on tackling drugs before the summer.