National Drugs Mission Plan: 2022-2026

Update on National Mission to reduce drug deaths and improve the lives of those impacted by drugs.

1. Ministerial Foreword

I was appointed in January 2021 tasked with leading Scotland's National Mission to reduce deaths and improve lives impacted by drugs. That includes families and communities. My post was created because we face a serious and significant public health challenge in Scotland with one of the highest levels of drug deaths in the developed world.

The number of drug deaths and level of harm caused by alcohol and drugs in Scotland is simply unacceptable. Every life lost to addiction is a tragedy, and I offer my condolences to everyone who has been impacted especially those who have lost loved ones.

I also offer my continuing commitment to work across Government, Parliament and beyond, to prevent these deaths from continuing and I strongly believe our National Mission will help achieve that.

We have engaged in a paradigm shift away from tackling drugs as a criminal justice issue and put it firmly in the space of public health. It is about improving the treatment and care we provide for people with drug problems, addressing the wider complex needs that people experience and addressing the underlying social determinants of health. Therefore we are ensuring that this work is embedded across all areas of Government and embracing the work being done across sectors, locally and nationally. This is vital to ensure that we are providing support which is truly person-centred.

The first year of the National Mission was about building the foundations for change. While learning from the Drug Deaths Task Force we have rolled out MAT Standards and set a new treatment target; taken a new approach to residential rehabilitation; increased funding to community and grass-roots organisations; and set the ground work for innovation such as through Safe Drug Consumption Facilities.

While there is much still to do, much progress has been made supported by a truly national effort and my thanks go to partners across the country who are rising to this challenge, from our health and emergency services and the national organisations we fund to grass roots organisations and beyond.

This year and in the following years the focus of the Mission has turned to delivering on those foundations. This high level plan sets out the framework for delivery for the remainder of the mission. This framework focusses on the outcomes we want to achieve and which are necessary to achieve our aim of reducing deaths and improving lives. This framework has been shared and consulted on with a range of stakeholders, including lived experience representatives and we thank them for their valuable contributions and guidance.

Angela Constance

Minister for Drug Policy



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