Care Inspectorate says more work needed to help addicts

Drug paraphernalia Image copyright Science Photo Library

More must be done to support people living with alcohol and drug addictions across Scotland, an official watchdog has said.

The Care Inspectorate said local agencies should improve the way people's needs are assessed.

This would aid effective recovery and protect communities, it said.

The report said the roll-out of government guidelines to help addicts varied across the country, with many having still experienced stigma.

So-called "Quality Principles" were issued by the Scottish government last year.

They seek to foster person-led and stigma free services across Scotland.

The Care Inspectorate was asked to assess how Scotland's 29 Alcohol and Drug Partnerships had adopted the new principles.

The partnerships are multi-agency groups made up of local authorities, health boards, police and drug and alcohol agencies.

Holistic approach

The report said the majority of partnerships were actively embracing the new guidelines, but their uptake was variable across the country.

Care Inspectorate Chief Executive Karen Reid said services "needed to be available at the right time, in the right way and for as long as needed".

She said: "We want to see communities supported to take a holistic approach towards assisting recovery in people with addictions.

"That means it's not just specialists who have a role to play, but everyone working across health and social care."

She added: "The majority of operational staff were very positive and confident in demonstrating that they worked well together to improve outcomes for people, families and communities.

"However, many people still experienced stigma and prejudice when accessing services in the community or in hospital.

"Local councils and health boards must do more to reduce the stigma and create the necessary conditions to successfully embed a recovery philosophy.

"Where young people are affected by substance misuse, we expect to see closer working between drug and alcohol staff and those supporting children to ensure young people are protected from harm."

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