Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland replaces Drug Strategy Delivery Commission as expert group

“The Partnership for Action on Drugs, and its supporting groups, have a mandate to energise the sector and to visualise a framework which might consolidate the many innovative projects under current discussion"

A new group, Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland (PADS), has been set up to reduce problem drug use and complement the work of the established Road to Recovery strategy.

PADS was officially launched on Tuesday the 19th of January 2016, and has replaced the previous expert panel group, the Drugs Strategy Delivery Commission (DSDC), which was established in 2009 to monitor and assess the delivery of the Road to Recovery.

The new group will help lead and focus the sector on three priorities which are; building communities focused on recovery and tackling stigma, quality and consistency of service planning and delivery, and harm reduction and reducing drug-related deaths.

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Paul Wheelhouse, who will chair the new group, said that progress has been made in tackling problem drug use through the Road to Recovery initiative, however there is no time to be complacent.

“Although these trends are extremely encouraging we are not complacent, which is why we have created the Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland.

“I look forward to working with PADS to continue to build on the good progress already made while looking for ways to improve how we tackle the damaging impact of drugs in Scotland.”

The formation of PADS has been hailed as an opportunity to rethink Scotland’s attitude towards it’s drug policy.

Roy Robertson, Professor of Addiction Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and GP at Muirhouse Medical Group added: “In the past a sense of hopelessness pervaded many of the reactions to drug problems. This has been replaced with a recognition that death from drug use need not be inevitable, recovery from addiction is common, and that, rather than expecting specialist services to respond in this complicated area, drug problems are a responsibility for all.

“The Partnership for Action on Drugs, and its supporting groups, have a mandate to energise the sector and to visualise a framework which might consolidate the many innovative projects under current discussion and to build an inclusive response to a problem which has always had the status of an outsider from mainstream care.”

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