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28/11/17 14:30

Alcohol and drug treatment strategy

Combined approach to be published next year.

Drug and alcohol treatment will be improved through a Substance Misuse Treatment Strategy, Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell has announced.

The new combined approach will be published in Spring 2018 and will recognise the many shared underlying causes and similarities in treatment services.

This, and the £20 million a year committed in the Programme for Government, will ensure services to reduce alcohol and drug related harm reach people who are currently not receiving the treatment they need, with a greater focus on responding to the individual.

Ms Campbell said:

“In the last ten years our understanding of the underlying causes of addiction and substance misuse has developed, recognising that deprivation, poverty, trauma and adverse childhood experiences can cause people to turn to alcohol and drugs. While there are clear differences between the two, the root causes and response by services have too much in common to be kept apart.

“Treatment can no longer just be clinical, but must also address some of the deep rooted social and economic circumstances that people face. It is fundamental that we join the dots better and ensure addiction services address issues such as social isolation and stigma that remain major barriers to recovery.

“This renewed approach, and the introduction of minimum unit pricing show the range of measures we’re taking to address addictions that devastate lives and communities. Our commitment in the Programme for Government will mean £60 million for alcohol and drug treatment over the remaining lifetime of this Parliament to transform services and ensure they are focused on the patient, rather than the addiction.”