Cash injection of £48,000 to help stop drug deaths in Falkirk

A vital project in Forth Valley has received significant funding from the Scottish Government’s Drug Deaths Taskforce to help it deliver better support to people living with addiction.

By James Trimble
Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 4:30 pm

The Change Grow Live charity, which is partnering with the Falkirk Alcohol and Drug Partnership to develop one-stop community recovery hubs, has been awarded £48,704 to pay for an advanced nurse practitioner, who will help people access the care they need, including

mental health, physical health and drug services.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson welcomed the funding.

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Cash is now available to fund a project which aims to lower the number of drug deaths in the Falkirk area

He said: “The Scottish Government has acknowledged that urgent action is required to reduce drug deaths, committing £250 million over the next five years to deal with this emergency.

“I welcome this investment in a local project which will address individuals’ needs in a holistic way. We know that many people living with addiction face multiple, complex challenges and that’s where these community recovery hubs could play a vital role in ensuring that they get fast and appropriate access to support and treatment.

“Following on from news last month that Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership has been provided £96,294 to increase provision of residential drug rehabilitation placements and improve access to treatment and harm reduction services, this funding is another significant step in our efforts to tackle drug deaths in Forth Valley.”

Martin Thom, chairman of Falkirk Alcohol and Drug Partnership, added: “We welcome the funding from the Drug Deaths Taskforce to pilot the development of new community recovery hubs across Forth Valley. This will provide a one-stop approach to support local people who use drugs and alcohol.

“The hubs will provide greater flexibility and an opportunity for individuals to access a broad range of health and social care support alongside existing specialist support services.

"They will also bring services provided by health and social care, local councils and third sector organisations together under one roof in areas most in need of additional support.

This approach will make it easier for local people to access a wide range of support when they need it and also help reduce pressure on busy health and care services during the ongoing pandemic.

“Most importantly, these new recovery hubs will help reduced the number of drug-related deaths and near fatal overdoses in Forth Valley by providing quicker access to effective support and treatment.”

In December 2020 it was reported the number of people who died as a result of drug abuse in the Forth Valley area reached its highest ever level during the course of 2019.

According to the statistics published by the National Records of Scotland, Forth Valley’s drug deaths increased from 72 people in 2018 to 75 in 2019 – the highest figure in over a decade.

From 2009 to 2019 there have been 403 drug deaths in the area – an average of over 40 deaths per year.

From 2005 to 2009 the average number of drug deaths stood at 20 people per year, while 2015 to 2019 saw an average of 53 deaths per year.

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