Established in 1986, Scottish Drugs Forum is a membership-based charity


A Scotland free from drug-related health and social harm.


To improve Scotland’s approach to drug-related issues. We influence this through our work by striving for compassionate, inclusive, evidence-informed policy and practice.


For almost 40 years, our values have been evidenced through our work as a membership-based charity.

Meaningful involvement of people with experience of drug use

Evidence from research, good practice and the real-life experiences of people affected by drug use informs our work and provides the basis for the change we advocate for and to which we contribute. We work to ensure that the experiences and perspectives of people experiencing drug-related harms are the focus of the policy and practice developments that affects them.

Policies and practice that reduce risks and harms

We recognise that the majority of people who use drugs do so without experiencing significant harms. However, evidence suggests there will always be greater risks and harms where people who use drugs are criminalised. We advocate strongly for evidence-informed, harm reduction approaches.

Rights and equality

We take a rights-based, equalities-focussed approach so that our work empowers people who are often marginalised, criminalised and discriminated against. We promote non-judgemental, trauma-informed support within a stigma-challenging environment.

A person-centred approach

People are at the heart of everything we do and everything we advocate for. We value connection and collaboration through open and respectful discussion. We are passionate about decision making which is evidence-informed.

respect and empowerment

Our work centres around people who experience drug-related harms, and we are firm in our approach that people are valued, treated with dignity and respect and empowered to identify and achieve their own goals.

2024 - 2027

In preparation for this refreshed strategic direction, we consulted with our membership and staff via a variety of avenues including surveys, one to one discussions and focus groups.

We thank everyone for their engagement in this process, the learning and feedback from which has informed our work for the next 3 years.

SDF Strategy


SDF improves understanding of drug issues, drugs policy and related practice through:

  • providing opportunities for information exchange
  • sharing information from links with multiple national and international networks
  • providing training and research services
  • communicating with members, other stakeholders and the public
  • contributing to public, media and parliamentary discussion and debate


SDF provides leadership by:

  • encouraging change with new and innovative thinking and practice
  • raising emerging issues of concern
  • speaking independently and freely
  • establishing and maintaining links to international partners


SDF supports policy and practice development by:

  • supporting the networking and empowerment of people affected by drug-related harms
  • developing policy with members and other stakeholders
  • supporting individuals to make positive changes in their lives through volunteering and work opportunities
  •  supporting services to deliver efficiently and effectively


SDF empowers people and services to:

  • become involved in discussion and decision-making processes
  • appreciate, enhance and amplify the insight they have
  • realise their potential in contributing to the development of policy and practice


SDF provides and supports representation in its work through:

  • maintaining communication with members and wider stakeholders, especially people experiencing drug-related harms
  • participating in local, national and international voluntary sector, public sector and other civil society networks
  • ensuring that the opinions and experiences of those directly affected by drug use are represented in policy making and service development processes


Join Scottish Drugs Forum; a membership-based charity striving for compassionate, inclusive, evidence-informed policy and practice.