SDF has pioneered and developed peer research as a key part of its user involvement activity. Peer research allows the voices and experiences of people who have experienced or are experiencing problem substance use to be heard where decisions are being made.
SDF works to ensure that the opinions and experiences of people who use, or have used services influence service planning and delivery. This is crucial in improving the service quality and effectiveness.
Improved policy responses
SDF also involves people who have experienced problem substance use in the development of wider policy responses to problem drug use and related issues.
Peer research also creates volunteering and employment opportunities for people who have themselves had substance use problems by which they gain work experience, training and support that, for some, is a valuable part of their pathway to employment.
Currently, SDF has active user involvement and peer research groups supported by Alcohol and Drug Partnerships in East Dunbartonshire, East Ayrshire and Fife.
“Being a User Involvement volunteer has given me back confidence in my abilities. I have learned so much…”
– Marie-Ann, Peer Research Volunteer