Medication Assisted Treatment standards update

Report highlights 90% of standards 1-5 assessed as fully implemented.

Drugs and Alcohol Policy Minister Christina McKelvie has welcomed new research on the rollout of medication assisted treatment (MAT) standards – a key part of the Scottish Government’s £250 million National Mission on Drugs.

MAT standards aim to make holistic treatment and support available more quickly for those dealing with problematic drug use, offering more choice and joined-up care with other services.

Across the 29 Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) areas, 90% of MAT standards 1-5 have been assessed as fully implemented – 131 out of a possible 145 – according to the 2023-24 Public Health Scotland (PHS) benchmarking report.

Ms McKelvie visited recovery services at Cameron Hospital in Windygates to hear about progress being made in Fife. She said:

“Through our £250 million National Mission on drugs we are focused on getting more people into the form of treatment which works best for them. This report provides a useful snapshot of achievements, and I welcome the contributions from those with lived experience, which the report notes, ‘provide a perspective that data doesn’t capture’.

“I am grateful to all those who have contributed to the significant achievements in this report. We will continue to build on this, striving to reduce deaths and improve lives – however, clearly there are still challenges to overcome, including the threat from super-strong synthetic drugs and polydrug use. I have met people and families who have seen significant change in services, as a result of this progress, but there are still some who do not have access to care and support on the day they ask for help.

“We will take on board the feedback and recommendations. We have already supported the National Collaborative to publish a draft Charter of Rights and will continue to work with partners and local leaders to seek further improvements. We made a record £112 million available to ADPs in 2024-25 and services such as Fife ADP’s multi-agency Rapid Access Clinic at Cameron Hospital, supported by third-sector partners, are key to driving this forward.”

The report is the third since MAT Standards were introduced in May 2021. PHS changed its reporting methodology for 2023-24 therefore the figures in this report are not comparable with previous reports.  

Elizabeth Glonek, whose son has been supported by the Fife services, said:

“Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs immediately referred us to the KY8 club and the Rapid Access Clinic at Cameron, where they put a treatment plan in place for my son. I'm so grateful for all of these people working together to help us. I have had my hopes raised in the past only to have them dashed, but this time because of so many people working together it's given me hope back again.”


National benchmarking report on the implementation of the medication assisted treatment (MAT) standards: Scotland 2023-24

The report provides an assessment of progress with the implementation of MAT standards 1–10 as of April 2024 across all 29 Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) areas. Public Health Scotland has changed the composition of the RAGB ratings and a number of other metrics used in 2024, so figures are not directly comparable with previous years.

MAT standards one to five cover same-day access, medication choice, ongoing support, access to harm reduction and support to remain in treatment. MAT standards six to 10 are on psychological support, primary care access, independent advocacy and social support, mental health, and trauma-informed care.

The report states:

  • in 2024, for MAT standards 1–5, 90% have been assessed as fully implemented
  • for standards 6–10, 91% showed evidence that implementation is beginning  
  • in addition, evidence of sustained implementation and ongoing monitoring was allocated to two ADPs for MAT 4 and one for MAT 3.

The Scottish Government has made record levels of funding, exceeding £112 million, available to Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships, which they are responsible for distributing, with Fife ADP receiving £2,431,087.

National Mission on drugs investment represents a 67% increase in the total drug and alcohol budget from 2014-15 to 2023-24, according to Audit Scotland figures published in 2022.


Media enquiries

Back to top