Support for young people affected by drugs

Charity launches expansion of services in Scotland.

A service which provides support for young people affected by substance use in their family is being expanded to six new areas of Scotland.

The Routes youth programme, which is run by Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAD), offers one-to-one and group support to people aged 12 to 26 and currently operates in East and West Dunbartonshire.

Now SFAD has formed a partnership with six other charities who will roll out the programme to East Lothian, Falkirk, Renfrewshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Lanarkshire and Orkney.

The expansion comes after the Scottish Government announced SFAD would receive £4 million earlier this year from the Whole Family Wellbeing Fund as part of the cross-government approach to tackling the drug deaths crisis.

Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy Elena Whitham said:

“Young people living with a loved one who is using substances need to feel they are not alone.

“They may want to share their experiences, learn more about substance use and explore how they can achieve their own goals.

“I recognise that the Scottish Government must not only have to help people who are facing problems with drugs, but also their family members. Help and support is available from a number of sources, including dedicated charities like Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs through projects such as Routes and I am pleased this funding will allow more young people to benefit from the Routes model.”

Justina Murray, CEO of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, said:

“We are delighted to see our Routes model expand across Scotland through this new partnership with six fantastic partner organisations, supported by the Scottish Government’s Whole Family Wellbeing Fund. A key part of Routes’ success has been the involvement of young people from the start – they have shaped every aspect of our initial Routes programme in East and West Dunbartonshire, and remain at the heart of this new national roll-out.

“Our Routes young people are the most enthusiastic, creative and ambitious ambassadors for the programme’s life-changing impact. Grow Your Own Routes will allow us to learn how this youthwork model can support young people affected by family alcohol and drug use across urban, rural and island communities from Orkney to East Lothian, and from small to large organisations.”


The delivery partners are:

Aberlour – Falkirk

Action for Children – Renfrewshire

Alcohol and Drugs Action – North Aberdeenshire

Barnardo’s - North Lanarkshire

Circle – East Lothian

Right There - Orkney

The Whole Family Wellbeing Fund, is a £500 million investment over the life of this Parliament, shifts investment towards prevention and early intervention and aims to help family support services to make transformational system changes to reduce the need for crisis intervention.   


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