Increased funding for preventing drug deaths; frontline services to benefit from an extra £20 million.
Additional funding of up to £20 million is being delivered to help reduce the harms and deaths caused by drug and alcohol use in the Scottish Government’s budget for 2020/21.
This is an increase of £7.3 million from within the health portfolio on top of the initial proposals in the draft budget.
The increased funding will help deliver the recommendations of the Drug Deaths Taskforce, and provide investment for mental health support. It will also allow wider consideration to additional NHS-funded rehabilitation beds.
Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick announced the increase at the UK Drugs Summit in Glasgow, where he said:
“The voices of people with lived experience of drug use were the focus of our Scottish Drugs Conference this week and it was an honour to hear about their various paths to recovery.
“I remain convinced that a public health approach to this emergency is the right way forward and the extra £20 million of funding will go to a range of support services, including those helping the crossover between addiction and mental health.
“The UK Government has made it clear at their summit that they are not willing to consider the bold, innovative approaches to this problem that I feel are needed. However, that doesn’t mean we will stop fighting for what we believe is right and this extra investment will help us in our efforts to save lives.”
Glasgow Kelvin MSP, Sandra White said:
“I am pleased to see an additional £20m in support to frontline services which will assist with drug harm reduction, as part of the Scottish Government’s priority efforts to tackle the drugs crisis.
“This issue needs all layers of government listening to and working with experts and those with lived-experience without pre-determined barriers to action; this funding underpins our commitment to action.
“As the MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, I will continue to work with colleagues in the city, Holyrood, and Westminster to achieve a supportive approach to help people out of the blight of drug addiction.”