This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Scotland Against Drugs
The main functions of Scotland Against Drugs (SAD) are to be transferred to the new Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives from next April.
The new Centre, which was set up in April this year, is responsible for the Executives strategy to help vulnerable people, including those with serious drug addictions, back into work.
The announcement, made today by Deputy Justice Minister Hugh Henry, means that much greater impetus will now be given to tackling the wider problems that many serious drugs misusers face in making the transition from addiction to healthy fulfilling lives.
Mr Henry said:
"All the evidence shows that drug treatment must be combined with wider support if we are to get people permanently off drugs - including methadone - and into healthy and productive lives. SAD has done exceptional work to inform the public about the dangers of drugs and has done pioneering work on employability. Bringing SAD's expertise within the new Centre offers a real opportunity to turn around more lives blighted by drugs.
"The transfer of SAD's core functions to the Centre reflects our decision to build upon the success of the staff in developing employability issues as a key component of successful working with those who have drug problems. Their commitment, skill and expertise is rightly acknowledged across Scotland. We have now reached a point where this work can be better developed in the new Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives."
Graham Robertson, Chief Executive of NHS Health Scotland, said:
"The integration of Scotland Against Drugs and the Centre for Healthy Working Lives makes real sense as it will strengthen work on substance misuse and workplace health through a comprehensive, integrated one-stop shop approach.
"We will build on the good work of Scotland Against Drugs by helping those affected by drugs back into work as well as assisting organisations in developing drugs polices and in supporting employees in need. Through our Education Programme and the Health Promoting Schools Unit, the drugs prevention work within schools will be continued."
Professor Sandy Cameron, Chair of the Association of Drug Action Teams (DATs), said:
"The Association of Drug Action Teams has for some time now had as one of its key interests the development of employment opportunities for stabilised drug users. We share the concern that we need to help people move from treatment programmes into employment as a means of bringing long term stability into their lives.
"Scotland Against Drugs has been an important partner in this and we welcome the further development of this important work through the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives."
Dave Liddell, Director of the Scottish Drugs Forum, said:
"We have long argued for a greater emphasis on early access to education and training for people with drug problems. We are therefore very supportive of moves to strengthen this agenda.
SAD was established with cross political party support in 1996. It was set up to inform the public about the dangers of drugs and to help support people with drug-related problems.
SAD has engaged in a range of activities and projects since it started, including most recently running a number of pilot employability projects and a challenge fund which aims to unite the public, private and voluntary sectors in helping communities stand up to the problems of drug misuse.
Staff currently working for SAD who wish to transfer to the Centre will be offered posts under the governance of NHS Health Scotland.