New investment in early intervention and family support for those with addiciton

South Scotland list MSP Emma Harper has welcomed that Dumfries and Galloway will benefit from over £1m of new investment to support people affected by drugs and alcohol.

By Brian Yule
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 11:56 am
Emma Harper believes drug and alcohol addiction should be treated as a medical issue, not a criminal one
Emma Harper believes drug and alcohol addiction should be treated as a medical issue, not a criminal one

The Children and Family Fund and the Improvement Fund were established last year to provide direct financial support to front line services and third sector organisations, with 77 initiatives across Scotland to benefit from £25m over the next five years.

Across Dumfries and Galloway, a total of £1,020,335 has been awarded to NHS Dumfries and Galloway and We are With You D&G.

It will enable the health board to set up its first Recovery and Wellbeing Hub and help We are With You to develop an Assertive Peer Support Service to help people engage with treatment.

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Ms Harper is a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee and the drugs and alcohol Cross Party Group, as well as being a registered nurse who has campaigned for drug addiction to be treated as a public health issue, not a criminal one.

Recently she met with the Minister for Drug Policy to discuss rural drug addiction and previously took part in the Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry into Scottish Drug Related Deaths.

Ms Harper said: “Following my meeting with the Scottish Government’s Drugs Policy Minister in February, I welcome that NHS Dumfries & Galloway and We Are With You D&G will benefit from the National Improvement Fund and the Children and Family Fund.

“I also welcome the Scottish Government taking decisive action to treat drug addiction as a medical, and not criminal issue, such as through increasing the use of divergence from prosecution and providing additional funding to tackle addiction.

“A whole family approach is needed to ensure more people can access treatment and recovery that is right for them at an earlier stage.

"Supporting family members in their own right is also important as for every single person struggling with drugs or alcohol there are, on average, 11 other people affected.

"This additional investment will help local services across the region to work together and respond to problems earlier to prevent families from reaching the point of crisis.”