“VITAL” frontline services will benefit from a £65 million funding boost in an effort to combat rising drug deaths. 

The Scottish Government has invited frontline and third sector organisations to apply for funding which is aimed at helping those dependant on drugs to turn their lives around. 

The cash will be awarded to initiatives such as Aberdeen’s Alcohol and Drug Action (ADA) which was given £500,000 to deliver a sharp response service to provide immediate advice to people in their homes. 

The money, which was allocated from the additional £250 million national mission funding, is being channelled through the Local Support Fund and two further funding pots. 

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These are the Improvement Fund for organisations delivering residential rehabilitation and the Children and Families Fund which gives financial help to those working with the relatives of those affected. 

Angela Constance, Drug Policy Minister, said: “The number of lives lost to drugs is still too high in Scotland and these funds are vital for those services working on the frontline to help those affected and their families.

“These organisations save lives and we want to support them so they can extend as far into their communities as possible and offer people the support they need when and where they need it.

“£65 million of the additional £250 million set aside for the national mission on drug deaths over the course of this Parliament will go directly to these funds and we are determined to make every penny count.”

Latest figures show about 1300 people lost their lives to drug misuse in Scotland in 2021, according to the National Records of Scotland.

Simon Pringle, service manager at ADA, said the Drug Improvement Fund had transformed the organisation to allow them to support clients who find it difficult to access mainstream services, including treatment.

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He said: “Since receiving the funding we have offered help to over 150 individuals helping them access support, engage with NHS Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), re-engage with services and receive sterile injecting equipment.

“We have been able to target those most at risk and see them quickly – usually the same day – therefore reducing the risks of overdose or other harms.

“Without the fund we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this.”

All funds are administered through the Corra Foundation, a charity which aims to make grants available to projects which make a difference to people and communities.