Favor Scotland calls for £15m funding to rehab beds in Scottish Budget
Drug death action group Faces & Voices of Recovery Scotland (FAVOR) are calling for the Scottish Government to deliver at least £15.4 million for drug rehabilitation beds in this year’s Scottish Budget.
FAVOR Scotland are also asking every MSP from all parties to sign a two-line pledge that they will only back the budget if it delivers that funding for drug treatment rehab beds.
In 2007, Scotland had approximately 352 rehab beds in 22 facilities. At that time, there were 455 drug deaths in a year. By 2018, the number of rehab beds was down to less than 70 across three facilities, while the number of drug deaths increased to 1,187 people in a single year.
The £15.4 million figure was the fifth of 23 recommendations in FAVOR Scotland’s report on drug deaths. The funding recommendation called for a one-time £15 million investment and an extra 35 per cent increase in the national treatment budget over the course of this Scottish Parliament term.
FAVOR Scotland’s sixth monthly gathering will take place this Friday, 31 January at 5pm in headhunters studios in Glasgow.
Annemarie Ward, FAVOR Scotland CEO, said: “We understand MSPs will be asking for a wide range of funding guarantees for the NHS, Police Scotland, homeless services and many other policy areas.
“But whatever other requests they make, we’re asking that every single MSP commits to only supporting the Scottish Budget if it also includes £15 million for drug rehabilitation beds.
“The rise in drug deaths has mirrored the lack of residential rehab beds. Since 2007, the number of rehab beds have plummeted at the
same time as the number of people dying has surged.
“As a first step to helping people get better and saving lives, we need to see immediate re-investment in rehabilitation, starting with this budget.”
Natalie McLean, FAVOR Scotland Community Director,
said: “We’ve been saying for months that politicians keep talking and people across Scotland keep dying.
“Despite drug deaths hitting record highs last year, there has been a shocking lack of urgency from all sides. The lack of action means that it is likely the 2019 drug death figures will be even higher. That is unforgivable.
“So FAVOR Scotland are saying that in this Scottish Budget, MSPs can’t hide. They’ve got the chance to start saving lives and we’re not going to put up with any more excuses.
“If the Scottish Government are serious about tackling drug deaths, £15 million for drug rehabilitation beds is the absolute minimum we expect from this budget.”
Notes to editors
FAVOR Scotland’s full report on drug deaths, published in November 2019, is available here: http://126.96.36.199/facesandvoicesofrecoveryuk.org/ resources/
The two-line pledge that FAVOR Scotland will be asking every MSP to sign states: “I will refuse to vote for the Scottish Budget unless it provides £15.4m for drug rehabilitation beds at a minimum. While I may make other requests of the Scottish Government, I will commit to only voting in favour of the Scottish Budget if that funding is delivered in full.”