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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S5W-35326

  • Asked by: Ruth Maguire, MSP for Cunninghame South, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 18 February 2021
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Angela Constance on 19 February 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made by the Residential Rehabilitation Working Group on drug and alcohol residential treatment services.


In June 2020, the then Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing asked Dr David McCartney to chair a Working Group tasked with reporting on and making recommendations to the Scottish Government towards the strengthening of referral pathways, capacity planning and developing models of good practice for funding and delivery for drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation treatment.

The group reported to Ministers in December 2020 making a number recommendations. The Scottish Government published its response today, accepting all recommendations where it is within Minister’s remit to do so. This can be found on the Scottish Government website at .

Progress has already been made in some areas. A good practice guide on pathways into and out of residential rehabilitation is already being developed; we continue to see referrals through our prison to residential rehabilitation pathway, and the Scottish Recovery Consortium, through Scottish Government funding, is running a pilot to help people most at risk following near fatal overdose to access residential rehabilitation treatment services.

The report raises a number of questions on which we need to do more. The Scottish Government will be guided every step of the way by the experience of people whose lives have been touched by drug use and the front line services who support people. Dr McCartney will lead a newly convened Residential Rehabilitation Working Group which will be focused on advising Scottish Government on taking forward all the actions set out in the recommendations and their implementation.

The First Minister, in her statement to Scottish Parliament in January, announced significant additional investment of £250 million over the five years of the next parliament as part of our national mission to tackle drugs deaths; and a £5 million support package to ensure immediate action before the end of this financial year. £100 million of this will support further investment in - and expansion of - residential rehabilitation and associated aftercare, with a further two £1 million grant funds to support grassroots and third sector organisations. £3 million of this package has already been allocated to Alcohol and Drug Partnerships.