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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde welcomes reduction in drug related deaths

Published: | Drugs

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) welcomed the reduction in drug related death figures across Scotland as Drugs Minister Elena Whitham visited the Enhanced Drug Treatment Service, managed for NHSGGC by Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP). 

Recent figures from the National Records of Scotland highlight a decline in drug deaths across Scotland, with a 21% reduction marking a significant step in the right direction in addressing substance abuse issues. 

NHSGGC has implemented several innovative approaches in recent years, which have improved access to harm reduction, treatment and care and recovery including the Enhanced Drug Treatment Facility.

This is the first service in Scotland to offer Heroin Assisted Treatment to people with severe opioid dependence who have been unable to engage with mainstream treatment options. The service provides fully supervised injectable diamorphine to those who suffer from severe opioid dependence and offers support to a population with severe and multiple disadvantages and complex needs.

Susanne Millar, Chief Officer for our HSCP said: “Enhanced Drug Treatment Service (EDTS) takes a targeted approach for several people in the city who are at the highest risk of drug related death. The service aims to reduce the harms associated with high-risk opioid use, as well as improve health and social outcomes while offering an opportunity to discuss wider health and social care needs with people as they engage with treatment.

“The figures released indicate that services such as this are having a positive impact on drug related deaths and although these figure remains higher than we would like, it’s positive to see these moving in the right direction. Each of the HSCPs across Greater Glasgow and Clyde are committed to working together, and with partners, to minimise harms for the people who use drugs and alcohol through a whole system approach.

“Problematic drug use remains a key priority and affects families and communities across the city, and I want to offer condolences to every person who has suffered the loss of a loved one.”     

Drugs and Alcohol Policy Minister Elena Whitham MSP visited the service and commented on the drug death figures released earlier this week. 

She said: “My sympathy goes out to all those affected by the loss of a loved one through drugs. While I am pleased to see that hundreds of families have been spared this agony and lives have been saved, every life lost is a tragedy and the number of deaths is still too high. I can see that our work across Scotland is gathering pace, and I’m grateful to all those delivering vital services.”

“As part of our £250 million national mission on drugs, we’ll continue to focus on getting more people into the form of treatment and support they need, expand access to residential rehabilitation and drive the rollout of life-saving Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards where we are making significant progress.”

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