The Minister for Community Safety, Fergus Ewing, visited Lanarkshire Alcohol & Drug Partnership (ADP) as part of a series of visits to see the progress being made by local ADP areas.
Colin Sloey, NHS Lanarkshire Director of North Lanarkshire Community Health Partnership and Chair of the Lanarkshire ADP, said: "The Lanarkshire ADP was set up in 2009 to tackle alcohol and drug problems within our local communities.
“Through the partnership approach of the ADP we have a clear focus on achieving real outcomes for individuals, families and communities blighted by the problems associated with alcohol and substance misuse.
“The ADP has a responsibility to ensure the strongest possible systems are in place to enable these positive outcomes.”
The ADPs are at the heart of a framework agreement between the Scottish Government, councils and the NHS. Each ADP has expert membership representing NHS boards, clinicians, local authorities, police, voluntary sector and other interests.
The ADP strategy ensures that all relevant partners play their part, better identify local needs and ensure investment is focused on achieving agreed outcomes.
Within the last year the Lanarkshire ADP has ensured that the maximum amount of time that people have to wait to access all alcohol and drug services is 14 days. A programme of screening within community, antenatal and hospitals settings has also been implemented. The overall aim of the screening programme is to reduce the amount of alcohol that we consume to within safe limits (14 or less for women, 21 or less for men).
Following the publication of the national alcohol and drugs strategies, the Lanarkshire ADP have also developed a recovery orientated approach which will ensure that people who seek help receive meaningful choices in a timely way and receive support that helps them to achieve their goals around the psychological aspects of recovery (wellbeing, quality of life, coping, self-esteem and self-efficacy) and social functioning (including relationships, family engagement, training and employment and domestic arrangements).
Fergus Ewing, Minister for Community Safety, said: “I am keen to see the progress Lanarkshire ADP has made in their first few months. We now have the right drugs strategy, right framework and record levels of funding in place but we all need to work together to achieve the results to improve the lives of people affected by drug and alcohol misuse.
“Research suggests that illicit drug use is currently costing Scottish society nearly £3.5 billion per annum. Treatment is cost-effective: for every £1 spent on treatment, up to £9.50 is saved in crime and costs to the criminal justice system.
“The Scottish Government are providing £28.6 million to Health Boards for frontline drug services in 2010-11, this represents an increase of over 20% since 2006-07.
“However, local people are best placed to understand the needs of their own community and I am looking forward to hearing Lanarkshire ADP’s strategy for helping people on their road to recovery.
“Working in partnership with ADPs and COSLA, the Scottish Government are determined to deliver real benefits for people suffering from drug and alcohol misuse.”
As part of his visit to Lanarkshire Mr. Ewing also visited the Lanarkshire Addiction Recovery Consortium (LARC) in the Voluntary Sector Support Centre in Hamilton. The LARC is funded by the ADP to organise the recovery community in Lanarkshire, by putting a public face on recovery through advocacy, education and service. The group also perform peer based service evaluations and give service users a voice on local and national forums.
There are many varied services available to people in Lanarkshire with a substance misuse problem, no matter what the severity or conditions. For more information please contact the Lanarkshire ADP on 01236 707168 or visit www.lanadat.org.uk