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Gail Ross welcomes funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services


By Alan Hendry

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The Scottish Government is making significant steps to tackle Scotland’s drugs crisis, Gail Ross says.
The Scottish Government is making significant steps to tackle Scotland’s drugs crisis, Gail Ross says.

SNP MSP Gail Ross has welcomed millions of pounds of funding from the Scottish Government for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, including those in her Caithness, Sutherland and Ross constituency.

Scotland’s finance secretary Kate Forbes announced that £145.3m will be committed to alcohol and drugs services, including £50m to reduce drugs deaths across the country.

Last week, the Scottish Government provided £3 million for NHS boards to increase provision of residential drug rehabilitation placements and improve access to treatment and harm-reduction services. As part of this, £68,382 will go to the Highland Health and Social Care Partnership.

The Scottish budget for 2021/22 commits £16 billion to improving the nation’s health and supporting the NHS in its recovery from the pandemic.

Mrs Ross said: “The millions of pounds committed in the Scottish budget to tackling drugs deaths demonstrates how seriously the SNP Scottish Government is taking the issue.

"Over the past year, the pandemic has presented an incredible challenge for our health and support services and that has been recognised by the Scottish Government with a commitment of £145m into drug and alcohol services.

“We have some fantastic services in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, some of which are run by volunteers who give up their time to help the recovery of others. I am sure this funding will be a boost to them.

“We know that action is needed now to tackle the drugs death emergency Scotland faces. Along with the appointment of the new drugs minister, the SNP government is making significant steps to tackle Scotland’s drugs crisis.

"The SNP will continue to provide investment for direct interventions to address health inequalities, exacerbated by Covid-19, to create a Scotland where we can all live longer, healthier lives.”

Scotland's minister for drugs policy, Angela Constance, said: “We all know action is needed now to tackle the drugs death emergency Scotland faces.

“The Scottish Government has been clear we must improve treatment and other support services and must do so within the context of a rights-based approach involving those with lived and living experience, their families and their communities. Reducing stigma is also key to getting more people into treatment.

“That is why this first tranche of funding is going to alcohol and drugs partnerships, so it can flow through to grassroots and community organisations. Working closely with other health and social care services, they can identify local needs and ensure the right treatment is in the right place at the right time for those who need it.

“We intend to improve pathways into residential rehabilitation and increase provision."


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