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Scottish Government pledges: “Rehab for every addicted person who wants it.”

The Scottish Government has pledged to fund at least 1,000 people each year in drug rehab.

The latest measures were announced by drugs minister Angela Constance, whose reign has signalled a major return to abstinence based rehab as a valid way of tackling Scotland’s drug deaths crisis.

Funded rehab was virtually abandoned in Scotland after being regarded as ineffective and too costly by SNP health ministers in recent years. But the drug death rate has soared from 455 in 2007 to 1,339 last year, creating a recognised emergency.

Constance stridently announced in Holyrood that, over the next five years, “everyone who wants residential rehabilitation, and for whom it is considered clinically appropriate, can access it”.

The latest announcement follows relentless campaigning by the Daily Record to increase funding for drug programmes and channel cash into new strategies.

The Daily Record has urged for decriminalisation of drugs – and most political parties now support our stance

In a statement to Parliament, Constance said there would be a 300% increase on the number accessing residential rehab compared to previous years. This would, she claimed, raise the number of beds in Scotland by 50% from 426 now to 650 in 2026.

She said: “While there is much to be done to address our drug deaths crisis we are making changes to support people to access the treatment and recovery that is right for them.

“Our commitment to increase the number of funded places by 300% and the number of beds by 50% will provide options for those who can safely access and who want to access residential rehab.

“The funding announced for these latest projects comes from the additional £100 million we are investing in residential rehabilitation over the next five and we are determined every penny of that will make a difference.”

Main beneficiaries of yesterday’s announcement will be the River Garden Auchincruive, in Ayrshire, which will use the funding over the next five years to increase capacity from seven to 56 residents, and also to build a new women’s unit.

Scottish Government pledges: "Rehab for every addicted person who wants it."
Another of the historic features at Auchincruive Estate

NHS Lothian will receive around £5 million to create capacity to support roughly 600 additional placements over five years at Lothians and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme and increase capacity at the Ritson detox clinic from eight beds to 12.

This will enable the board to develop a pathway to rehab for those using mixing drugs and using benzodiazepines, which are behind most Scottish drug deaths.

The funding is part of the additional £100 million announced as part of the National Mission to improve access to residential rehabilitation.




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