Page last updated at 18:14 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Drug support 'within three weeks'

Needle and heroin
The government wants all addicts who need help to be see within 21 days

Drug addicts who need help should receive treatment within three weeks, under new targets unveiled by the Scottish government.

The latest targets include a commitment to ensuring that by March 2013, 90% of those who need treatment for a drug problem will wait no more than 21 days.

A similar target for those who need help for a drink problem will come into force the following year.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the targets would help improve lives.

The targets also include a commitment to deliver faster access to specialist child and adolescent mental health services.

'Top priority'

There is currently no maximum waiting time for access to these services but by March 2013 patients will have to wait no longer than 26 weeks.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Ensuring patients always get the best possible care is the top priority for the NHS in Scotland and these targets are a valuable way to make sure this happens.

"I am pleased that we are now able to introduce waiting time pledges for both specialist mental health services for young people, and drug treatment services.

"This will, I am sure, improve the quality of lives for many people throughout Scotland."

Official statistics released in September showed that the number of drug users waiting more than a year before they were assessed for treatment had dropped.

However, the statistics showed that at the end of June 11% of 1,969 addicts were still waiting after 52 weeks.

Print Sponsor

Addicts 'linger' on waiting lists
31 Mar 09 |  Scotland
Scottish jails 'awash' with drugs
22 Mar 09 |  Scotland
Government unveils drug strategy
29 May 08 |  Scotland
Drink and drugs cost Scots 5bn
26 Mar 09 |  Scotland


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific