THE number of places in Scotland approved for alcohol and drug residential rehabilitation treatment has increased from last year. 

There were 218 placements approved between April and June this year, compared to 78 during the same period last year. 

On average, the number of placements is currently sitting at 67 per month during the current financial year, up from 39 per month in 2021/22.

Spending on residential rehabilitation increased from £969,277 during the first quarter of the year to over £1.7 million between April and June. 

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Separate figures revealed a slight fall in waiting time performance for people accessing specialist drug and alcohol treatment services. 

Between April and June, 90.5% of community referrals were completed with a wait of three weeks or less, compared to 92% in the previous quarter. 

Ministers have pledged to invest in residential rehabilitation in response to Scotland’s drug death crisis. 

A total of 1330 people lost their lives to drugs in Scotland in 2021 which represented a slight decline on 2020 and the first time since 2013 in which drug deaths did not increase.

Meanwhile, statistics revealed this year showed the number of deaths caused by alcohol in Scotland were at their highest since 2008. 

Last year, the Scottish Government said it would invest £100m to residential rehabilitation over the current five-year term of the Scottish Parliament.

Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance said the goal was to increase funding by 300%.

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She said: “We welcome the publication of these latest statistics published by Public Health Scotland, and are encouraged to see that between April and June this year there were 218 placements into residential rehabilitation.

“These numbers represent the highest number of quarterly placements on record, meaning more people with problem drug and alcohol use are accessing residential treatment and support to aid their recovery.

“While the statistics do indicate progress, we recognise that more can still be done to get people into appropriate treatment quicker in order to reduce harms and help with recovery.

“Through our work on pathways into rehab and investment in capacity we aim to increase the number of placements by 300% over the course of this parliament, so that in 2026 at least 1000 people are publicly-funded for their placement.

“Our National Mission aims to widen access to all types of treatment.”

She continued: “Some individuals and groups face additional challenges in accessing the treatment they need, this is why we have acted on research which highlighted the need to improve provision for individuals with specific needs and made funds available through the improvement fund.

“We are investing a total of £250 million over the course of this Parliament in a range of different treatments and services in order that all those affected, and their families, can receive the support which is right for them when they need it.”