Scottish government announces £25m for drug rehabilitation projects

The Scottish government has announced more than £25m of funding over the next five years for 77 projects working with people affected by drug use.

The latest round of the Improvement Fund and Children and Families Fund comprises:

  • £6m for 16 organisations providing residential rehabilitation and pre and post rehabilitation support
  • £10m for 38 organisations that support people through recovery
  • £9.5m for 23 projects working with children and families

Among the recipients are the charity Teen Challenge UK, which supports young people with drug and alcohol addictions. It has been granted £800,000 to refurbish and increase staffing at its Sunnybrae and Benaiah rehabilitation centres in Aberdeenshire.

Meanwhile WRASAC (Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre) Dundee & Angus has received funding to launch a hub in Dundee to support women with substance dependency and additional complex needs.

a woman rests her head on another person's shoulder

The Scottish government has come in for strong criticism for its failure to reverse Scotland’s rising toll of drug deaths. More than 1,300 people died of drug misuse in Scotland in 2020, setting a record number of deaths for the seventh year in a row. Scotland has the highest drug-related death rate in Europe, far above that of England and Wales, with the number of deaths nearly trebling in the decade to 2020.

Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance said: ‘The grants awarded will enable services to increase and improve the support available for people suffering from addiction and, of course, their families.

‘Getting more people into the treatment which works for them is central to our National Mission and we continue to embed the new Medication-Assisted Treatment standards which reinforce a rights-based approach for people who use drugs and the treatment they should expect regardless of their circumstances.

‘We aim to increase the number of publicly funded residential rehabilitation placements by more than 300 per cent over the lifetime of this Parliament and I recently announced a treatment target to increase the number of people with problematic opiate drug use accessing community treatments.’

Gordon Cruden of Teen Challenge North East Scotland said: ‘We are passionate about seeing people set free from addiction and this funding will help us support more men and women to freedom.

‘The grant has been specifically awarded to improve, expand and increase the capacity of our two residential centres – our men’s centre, Sunnybrae, and women’s centre, Benaiah – through increased staffing, improvements to equipment and minor refurbishments.

‘A main aim of ours is to see each resident progress on with positive personal life goals in the areas of home, career, financial stability and social network and this funding will help us to support people to achieve just that.’

Photo by Külli Kittus


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