Toolkit containing strategies to prevent drug-related deaths in Scotland updated

A resource containing strategies to reduce drug-related deaths in Scotland has been updated and re-launched by Scottish Drugs Forum.

‘Staying Alive in Scotland’– approved by Scottish Government and developed in consultation with Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) and other stakeholders – links directly to the Government’s alcohol and drugs strategy, ‘Rights, Respect and Recovery’ and the subsequent action plan.

The easy-to-use toolkit lays out the evidence-based measures that will help to reduce drug-related deaths. It will also be useful for commissioners, planners and managers in stakeholder organisations to self-audit current provision and practice, and to work jointly to improve these.

In the resource, there is a focus on identifying underlying physical and mental health conditions, alongside supporting people to access treatment with low threshold prescribing and quick access to optimal prescribing. There is an emphasis on providing a range of options to allow individuals to work in partnership with the services that are supporting them.

The document (which also includes an electronic excel version) is split into fourteen chapters each covering a different area of service. Underpinning these is an awareness of, and commitment to, reducing the stigma experienced by people who use drugs. These chapters are designed to be utilised independently of each other in order to support the particular aims of the service at that time. Together they formulate the basis of a drug death prevention plan.

It is envisaged that this toolkit would be introduced to staff through development days, which Scottish Drugs Forum is initially offering to facilitate in partnership with ADPs for key stakeholders. Through workshops and the involvement of all staff, the Good Practice Indicators would be discussed and a plan made of how to achieve these within services.

SDF Strategy Coordinator for Drug Death Prevention, Kirsten Horsburgh, said:

“Drug deaths in Scotland are at the highest recorded rates across the whole of Europe. These deaths are preventable and we all need to do more to make a difference.

“We look forward to working with ADPs and other key stakeholders to support this important work and to highlight some of the good practice already taking place across the country.”

If you would like any further information on Staying Alive in Scotland, or would like to arrange a development day, please contact Kirsten at kirsten@sdf.org.uk.

Click here to download the toolkit.

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