An extra £20 million in Scottish Government funding will be made available for drug rehabilitation and mental health support for addicts, the public health minister has announced.
Joe FitzPatrick told the UK Drugs Summit in Glasgow that the additional money “will help us in our efforts to save lives”.
The funding, £7.3 million of which will come from the health budget, will aim to support the Drug Deaths Taskforce and deliver more NHS-funded rehabilitation beds.
“What matters is saving lives and I will work with anyone to achieve that” Public Health Minister @JoeFitzSNP speaking at the Scottish Drug Deaths Conference in Glasgow #StopTheDeathspic.twitter.com/QKDfuMHnoz
— Scot Gov Health (@scotgovhealth) February 26, 2020
Announcing the funding, Mr FitzPatrick said: “The voices of people with lived experience of drug use were the focus of our Scottish Drugs Conference this week and it was an honour to hear about their various paths to recovery.
“I remain convinced that a public health approach to this emergency is the right way forward and the extra £20 million of funding will go to a range of support services, including those helping the crossover between addiction and mental health.
“The UK Government has made it clear at their summit that they are not willing to consider the bold, innovative approaches to this problem that I feel are needed.
“However, that doesn’t mean we will stop fighting for what we believe is right and this extra investment will help us in our efforts to save lives.”