National Drugs Mission Oversight Group


The national mission was established to reduce drug related deaths and harms. Central to that mission is taking action based on what we know works to reduce harm, promote recovery, and improve and save lives.  

The Oversight Group, chaired by David Strang, former chair of the Drug Deaths Taskforce, was established in June 2022 to provide challenge, scrutiny and advice to the Scottish Government and the wider sector. 

The group will meet every three months to:

  • scrutinise the Scottish Government’s plan to deliver the national mission
  • identify any gaps in the plan and share suggestions for how these may be addressed
  • provide expert advice on policy areas and service delivery as requested by Scottish Ministers
  • share best practice, including from other countries which have had success in reducing deaths and harms from drug use
  • promote accountability in the system at a national and local level 
  • explore how recommendations from other governance groups could be implemented in the context of limited funding and resources

Related groups


  • David Strang, Drugs Death Task force, Chair
  • Elena Whitham, Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy
  • Kirsten Horsburgh, CEO of Scottish Drugs Forum
  • Justina Murray, CEO of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs
  • Mark O’Donnell, CEO of Scottish Recovery Consortium
  • Emma Crawshaw, CREW
  • Belinda Phipps, We Are With You
  • Billy Watson, Scottish Association for Mental Health
  • Sandra Holmes, lived and living experience representative
  • Susanna Galea-Singer, Royal College of Psychiatrists committee member
  • Laura Wilson, Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • Eddie Follan, COSLA
  • Dr Sharon Stancliff, New York City Health Department
  • Dr Michel Kazatchkine, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe)
  • Professor Thomas Kerr PhD , Dept. of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • Professor Tessa Parkes, University of Stirling 
  • Professor Andrew McAuley, Glasgow Caledonian University 
  • Lorraine McGrath, CEO Simon Community
  • Stephen McCutcheon, lived and living experience representative
  • Sally Amor, lived and living experience representative
  • Nicholas Phin, Public Health Scotland
  • Valerie White, Public Health Scotland
  • Iain Smith, Keegan Smith Law
  • ACC Faroque Hussain, Police Scotland
  • Chris Williams, Royal College of GPs Deputy Chair


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