The Scottish Government have published new standards for drug treatment in Scotland. The standards apply to services providing medication assisted treatment.
The standards describe how people are to be encouraged and supported to engage and remain in treatment; how services are to be accessed and the treatment experience people will have, as well as the broader health and social supports people may access while in treatment.
Draft Standards were published in November and Public Health Scotland undertook a consultation on the proposed draft.
David Liddell, CEO of Scottish Drugs Forum, has welcomed the publication of the Standards:
“These standards are a huge step forward and are, in the view of SDF, the biggest development in the sector for more than a decade. Their effective implementation will make a substantial impact on fatal overdoses and transform the treatment experience of people in medication assisted treatment.
“The treatment of people with a drug problem is a key issue in improving Scotland’s response to problem drug use. These standards are published along with some of the evidence base for implementation and some of the ways we will be able to measure progress towards achieving these standards. But the best evidence and measure will be the response and feedback of those using services.
“There is a clear recognition within the Standards of the need for immediate access and support to stay in treatment. Too often the power imbalance between those receiving and those providing services has not been acknowledged, and poor and even punitive practice has developed in place of a therapeutic relationship. We need to raise the expectations of people in treatment – high quality relevant information and informed choices and, for some people, independent advocacy will play a role.”
SDF, Public Health Scotland and the Scottish Drugs Death Task Force are holding an online event from 1:00pm-2:30pm on the 11th of June to support implementation of the Standards.