Drug Deaths Taskforce response: cross government approach

Cross government response to the Drug Deaths Taskforce report, Changing Lives. It contains a cross government action plan, response to Taskforce recommendations and a stigma action plan.

16. Specific populations

Taskforce Recommendation: ADPs and services must recognise where particular groups (such as women and young people) have specific needs and face additional barriers. They should develop pathways tailored to these groups to ensure they can access the support they need when they need it.

Integration Authorities are legally obliged to take account of the particular needs of service-users. ADPs are also required to consider the needs of the populations they serve and outline how they meet those specific needs.

As outlined in Section One, we have convened an expert working group to develop better support for young people, who we recognise can have different needs when it comes to support for their drug use. Currently, we are developing a set of principles for what treatment and support for young people should look like. Lived experience is at the heart of this work, starting with a survey of young people on their drug and alcohol use undertaken by third sector partner With You. We will use the data from this and evidence from existing good practice to work with young people to co-produce service standards which meet their needs. Following this, the working group will advise government on how best to work with local partners on implementation.

Work is ongoing to implement and take forward the recommendations of the Taskforce's Women's Report. In addition, we are working to ensure consideration of gender sensitive elements to new or developing initiatives.

More than £5.5 million has been committed over this parliamentary term to support the establishment of two houses at Aberlour specifically designed to support women and their children through recovery. The first house is due to open in January, with the second opening later in 2023.

The houses will provide eight national placements by 2026 for women going through recovery, including wraparound childcare support and accommodation. This will ensure many women can access residential treatment without fear of their children being removed from their care. We also committed more than £8.5 million over this parliamentary term to support the establishment of Harper House, a National Specialist Family Service run by Phoenix Futures in Saltcoats which will be the first of its kind in Scotland. The service has been designed to support single parents (male/female) or couples along with their children (from birth to age 11). Children live on-site with their parents and benefit from the support of specialist childcare staff. Opened by the First Minister in November, Harper House can support up to 20 families at any one time, meaning that up to 80 families (women, their children and, where appropriate, their partners) will be supported annually.

We have also committed more than £6 million to River Garden Auchincruive, a training and social enterprise based residential rehabilitation programme which will establish a new, separate unit specifically designed to support women through recovery.


Email: Drugsmissiondeliveryteam@gov.scot

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