I’ve posted before (here, here, here, here and here) about Scotland and the price of harm reduction being the basis of its drug policy. (To the exclusion of recovery or abstinence oriented approaches.) Good news. They’ve just announced that they are adopting a recovery-oriented approach:
The new report is published today as former Health Minister Susan Deacon chairs a conference in Glasgow looking at how the concept of ‘recovery’ might be applied to the field of drug addiction.
Mr Ewing said that the emerging focus on recovery represents ‘a real opportunity to put a strategy in place that commands widespread professional, political and public support’.
Some of the main findings of the SACDM Sub-Group’s Essential Care Report are:
- There is a need for a major change in the philosophy of care for people with problem substance use in Scotland
- Substance users are people with aspirations
- Policy makers, commissioners and services need to consider how they can help them recover
- Substance users have the right to the same quality of care as the rest of us
Mr Ewing said:
“The Essential Care report contains a number of welcome recommendations which are already being looked at as we develop our new drugs strategy.
“I believe we need to get better at encouraging each addict’s personal vision of recovery by reducing practical barriers to services, while giving people hope by acknowledging that recovery is achievable.
“I have met former addicts who tell me that the key to believing in your own recovery is ‘believing it can happen for you’ – being optimistic that you can recover. The concept of recovery represents a significant shift in thinking and has happened in the field of mental health – why shouldn’t people with drug problems believe they can recover too?
“That’s the question that all the agencies working to tackle drug misuse need to ask themselves. If the answer isn’t yet a straightforward ‘yes’ – then they need to challenge the approaches they are taking. We have a real opportunity to put a strategy in place that commands widespread professional, political and public support. I want us all to seize that opportunity.
“We will publish a new drugs strategy for Scotland before summer and its main focus will be recovery. It is essential that people experiencing drug problems have access to a range of wider services including employment, housing, and health that help them to move-on and rebuild their lives.”