New SDF resource raises awareness of MAT Standards implemented in April

SDF has produced a leaflet / poster describing what people should now expect from all drug treatment services providing Medication Assisted Treatment. The new resource provides information to people who use or may use drug treatment services, their families, friends and advocates.  The resource was designed in consultation with people with living with a drug problem, some of whom are themselves in treatment.   

MAT Standards lay out how services prescribing medications including methadone and buprenorphine should engage with and support people in treatment and work, along with other services to identify and address the needs of people with a drug problem and in treatment.   

There are 10 MAT Standards.  Standards 1-5 were originally to be implemented in April 2022 before this deadline was postponed to April 2023.  Standards 6-10 are to be implemented by April 2024. 

Kirsten Horsburgh, CEO of Scottish Drugs Forum, said “The proportion of people experiencing drug problems in Scotland who are receiving treatment is very low compared with other countries.  This is a key driver of drug-related deaths. The accessibility and acceptability of treatment services is a key issue.  Implementing the MAT standards is crucial, and we can help this by raising the expectations of people who use services to demand the level of service described in the Standards.   

“This resource gives people the basic information about what they should expect and can demand.  Of course, we recognise the power imbalance between services and people who use them. Knowledge is power.  Advocates – professional or personal advocates such as families and friends and frontline staff in support services, will find this resource useful.  

“We plan to develop additional resources on MAT for all stakeholders including frontline staff in treatment services who have the opportunity here to help develop and deliver more person-centred therapeutic services.  We need high expectations and aspiration on both sides of the service counter to drive through change and embed these standards.”  

The new leaflets/posters are available at the MAT Standards website Link to resource – MAT Service Standards- Leaflet for people in treatment (June 2023)

They are available in two formats – one of which is a ‘printer-friendly’ version which will make cheaper printing an option.  

SDF will work with local services and agencies who want to add their logos to create local versions of this resource.