Supporting people affected by alcohol and drug use
6th April 2020
Extra support for people affected by alcohol and drug use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been announced by the Minister for Public Health Joe FitzPatrick.
Funding of £166,000 from the Scottish Government will support:
• a programme to increase access to naloxone in new settings, including investment in kits to add to the existing outlets for naloxone supply
• increased capacity within the Know the Score helpline and webchat service
• a COVID-19 publicity campaign signposting support for alcohol and drug use during the pandemic
• funding to link people with others in recovery through the Scottish Recovery Consortium
Help will also be available for those affected by another's alcohol and drug use through the Supporting Families Fund. This includes a discretionary emergency fund for families, online wellbeing activities, family meals, wellbeing packs and counselling support.
Mr FitzPatrick said:"Responding to the coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime and it will disrupt so many lives like never before. Protecting and supporting everyone during these unprecedented times is our priority.
“We’ve worked closely with organisations on the frontline to create this package of measures to ensure we continue to support those affected by alcohol and drug use.
“By working together and observing the latest guidance, we can all play our part in keeping everyone safe."
The Scottish Government worked alongside national commissioned organisations (NCOs) including Scottish Drugs Forum, Scottish Recovery Consortium, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, Crew, Alcohol Focus Scotland, We Are With You and Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems as well as Public Health Scotland on key initiatives to address the impact of COVID-19.
The funding will come from the overall total of £93.8m which is being invested in 2020/21 to reduce harm from drug and alcohol use. This includes new funding of £20m in the Scottish Budget to ensure the Drug Deaths Taskforce and Alcohol and Drug Partnerships can respond to the needs of those who are most at risk.