The Quality Principles: Standard Expectations of Care and Support in Drug and Alcohol Services

The Quality Principles: Standard Expectations of Care and Support in Drug and Alcohol

Services have been developed to ensure anyone looking to address their problem drug

and/or alcohol use receives high-quality treatment and support that assists long-term,

sustained recovery and keeps them safe from harm.

Promoting Recovery and Developing a Recovery-Oriented System of Care

Recovery is a process through which a person addresses their problem drug and/or alcohol use to become an active and contributing member of society. This concept of recovery and a belief that people can and do recover from drug problem and/or alcohol use and dependency are at the heart of the Scottish Government's strategies on drugs and alcohol.

There is no single path to recovery, it can begin anywhere; in a doctor's surgery, a hospital, treatment and support service, church, prison, peer support group or in someone's own home. Recovery happens every day across Scotland and there are effective solutions for people still struggling. Whatever the pathway to recovery, the journey will be far easier to travel when people are treated with dignity and respect.

In practice, people can best be empowered to recover through the establishment of a recovery-oriented system of care (ROSC). The underlying philosophy of a ROSC is that treatment, review and aftercare are integrated and priority is given to empowering people to sustain their recovery.

Distinguishing features of a ROSC include:

  • being person-centred
  • being inclusive of family and significant others
  • keeping people safe and free from harm
  • the provision of individualised and comprehensive services - such as housing, employability and education
  • services that are connected to the community
  • services that are trauma-informed

At its centre it has strength-based assessments, which take account of individuals' recovery capital, and integrated interventions and services that are responsive to a person's needs and beliefs. There is a commitment to peer recovery support services, and most importantly, it is inclusive of the voices and experiences of people, and their families, in recovery.

It also provides for system-wide education and training, ongoing monitoring and outreach, is outcomes driven and evidence informed. A ROSC is an effective drug and alcohol system empowering service users to progress at their own pace through a care pathway from first entering drug, alcohol and other services to returning to the wider community and universal public services and activities.


Email: Hilary Smith

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