A SURVEY of treatment services has found Scotland has a total of 418 rehabilitation beds available for both drug and alcohol addiction.

The Scottish Government published the survey in response to an expert group’s recommendations last year to get a better understanding of rehabilitation places available.

Ministers have pledged £20 million a year for the next five years to boost residential rehabilitation in response to Scotland’s rising toll of drugs deaths.

The expert group, led by addiction specialist Dr David McCartney, will now advise the Government on how to implement its recommendations. It will focus on ensuring there is equal access to rehabilitation across the country and standardised good practice.

Minister for Drugs Policy Angela Constance said: “Both the survey and the report identify a number of areas where we can do more, including addressing the constraints faced by services as a result of the pandemic and improving facilities for women who require childcare. I will be guided every step of the way by the experience of people whose lives have been touched by drug use and the frontline services who support people.

“To save and improve lives we will support more people into treatment and make it easier to access both community services and residential rehabilitation. We know that following any type of treatment, after-care is also crucial.

“We have already allocated money to our grassroots and third sector organisations to make sure the right support is available within communities at the right time, tailored towards the needs of each individual and their families.”

McCartney said: “Residential rehabilitation treatment has transformed the lives of thousands of Scots over the years, but has often been difficult to access. The Scottish Government’s commitment will create an even playing field and a full menu of treatment options for those with drug and alcohol problems.”