Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Drug treatment services given 29m funding

The funding is aimed at helping addicts get off drugs

Frontline drug treatment services in Scotland are to be given almost £29m funding next year.

The Scottish government said this represented an increase of 20% since 2006/07.

The £28.6m will go to NHS health boards to help run treatment, rehabilitation and recovery services for addicts.

Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said the money met a manifesto commitment to increase drugs funding but Labour said progress had been slow.

Mr Ewing told a drugs conference in Edinburgh: "Our drugs strategy, The Road to Recovery, is based on the needs of each person, not their misuse.

"Increasing investment in drugs services will help us deliver this strategy. For every £1 spent on treatment to tackle drug addiction, £9.50 is saved to the public purse."

Labour's Richard Baker said: "Whilst we welcome more funding to tackle the scourge of drugs misuse, the question remains for the SNP why they did not meet this pledge in their first Budget?"

Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie said Scotland was still in the grip of the "disaster of drugs abuse".

She said: "We should be investing money in restoring broken lives and in turn freeing up money for other essential services. We have to expand the range of rehabilitation services on offer and move to abstinence and recovery."

Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Robert Brown called for a "twin track" approach.

"We must cut demand by prevention through targeted prosecution of drug pushers and establish an effective support structure so that treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts can offer a path back to a fulfilling role in society," he added.

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