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Residential drug rehab provision to expand as Government invites applications

Funding applications for rehab facilities have opened, the Scottish Government said (Paul Faith/PA)
Funding applications for rehab facilities have opened, the Scottish Government said (Paul Faith/PA)

Organisations offering residential rehabilitation for drug addicts could have their provision expanded after the Scottish Government called for more applications for funding.

The Residential Rehabilitation Rapid Capacity Programme fund (RRRCP) is part of the additional £100 million announced as part of the national mission to improve access to treatment.

The Scottish Government has pledged it will increase the number of publicly funded rehab placements by 300% and the number of beds by 50% by 2026.

The national mission was launched in January 2021 following rising drug deaths in Scotland – with 1,330 recorded in 2021, just nine fewer than the previous year.

Extra funding announced to tackle drug deaths in Scotland
Minister for Drug Policy Angela Constance has said the funding will help people access treatment regardless of where they live (Jane Barlow/PA)

Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance recently faced scrutiny from joint Holyrood committees after the Faces & Voices of Recovery (Favor) charity accused the Scottish Government of sending addicts to “pretend” rehab centres which were actually stabilisation facilities.

Ms Constance denied the claim and said 170 rehab placements had been funded in April to June this year, and more than 500 were funded in the 2021/22 financial year.

Applications for the latest round of funding will close on January 9 2023 with priority given to projects increasing services in areas where rehab provision is lower.

Ms Constance was joined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as the first family rehab facility opened in Saltcoats on November 21.

It was opened by Phoenix Futures with the support of RRRCP funding.

Ms Constance said: “I have always said I want every penny of the additional funds announced as part of the national mission to make a difference and this fund is already having a positive impact on the lives of people with problem drug use.

“The opening of Harper House, which can support up to 20 families at a time, and the recent expansion of detox and rehab services at the Lothian and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme (Leap) are just a couple of examples of how this money is being used to increase the options available to people who want help.

“While there is much to be done to address our drug deaths crisis, these projects show we are making changes to support people to access the treatment and recovery that is right for them.”