Statement from Annemarie Ward, CEO of Recovery Charity FavorUK on
“Scottish drug deaths rise of 11% in latest figures published”

“The relentless rise in drug-related deaths in Scotland is more than a crisis; it’s a resounding indictment of a system that fails its most vulnerable repeatedly.
As we face an 11% increase in suspected drug deaths and witness a significant decline in treatment referrals, how long must we continue begging for a change in direction and leadership? Why are we witnessing a continuing doubling down and manipulation, of the current system alongside a redefining of rehab – moving funding away from traditional rehabilitation programs aimed at complete sobriety, toward a residential model so inadequately termed ‘stabilisation’ through medication? Scotland is well on its way to a rock bottom across civic & public life, in fact some would say we have been skiting along the bottom for a while now.

Authorities need to provide clear answers. Why are proven world-class facilities like @CastleCraig , renowned for their successful recovery outcomes, relegated to treating Dutch citizens whose government happily pays for its citizens to come over, while our Scottish people are left without adequate support under the new funding approach?
What are we actually doing to ensure comprehensive recovery options are not just available but are a priority in our national health strategies?

In Glasgow and beyond, the approach of prescribing methadone for dependencies such as Valium or cocaine addiction raises serious alarms. Where is the clarity and evidence of safety for such practices? Is there any systematic oversight ensuring these methods are actually effective? Or is this indicative of the lack of oversight and accountability in this sector overall, allowing those in charge to experiment with our lives with impunity, without facing any real questions or oversight because they are the “experts” ?

The disparity in funding is stark and heartbreaking. Untold millions are poured into heroin-assisted treatment and drug consumption rooms, essentially palliative care, yet traditional rehabilitation programs are starkly underfunded. This imbalance begs the question—does this reflect an ideological bias influenced by outdated views from the defunct Drug Death Taskforce? The task force declared that policies that aim for abstinence stigmatise those who fail, and that it is stigmatising in itself to ask people to aim for freedom from dependency, that striving for abstinence stigmatises people – You really could not make this up. We never say its either or, we always say its (and with) but when the imbalance is so stark we have to keep highlighting that it’s ideology thats in the driving seat.

The Total funding for Alcohol and Drugs (2022-2023): £141.9 million, broken down as follows:
Health Board baseline: £56.49 million (40%)
Additional Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) funding: £50.3 million (35%)
Grants via Corra Foundation: £13 million (9%)
Scottish Government Managed: £18.895 million (13%)
Projected Annual Spending (2024-2025): The total projected spending remains consistent at £160 million. This includes the continued allocation for direct provision of existing services and initial investments in new services.
Out of the £141.9 million allocated annually, we must scrutinise precisely how much is truly being invested in effective rehabilitation—the kind that genuinely aids individuals in recovering and re-integrating as contributing members of society. This involves empowering them with freedom from dependency and restoring their agency in their own lives, not the continually improvised approaches made up versions of rehab we now see being favored by the Scottish addiction sector.
I suspect that the actual investment in real rehab is far less than the £20 million annually pledged and claimed by the current government. This Scandal calls for a thorough and transparent review to ensure funds are directed where they can genuinely facilitate recovery and positive societal contributions, but I wont hold my breath.
BTW I didn’t include the estimated 15 million annually on top of all that to keep the quangos – policy actor orgs delivering placebo policies that espouse & spin the government rhetoric & failure into something that only the most ignorant & gullible could now believe.

Am I insane to keep asking & raising these questions ?

Even if I am, I cant stop asking them, if I accept the injustice and insanity of it all it would surely harm me further, at least this way I can say I did my best. When can we expect a serious policy, practice & leadership review to rectify these disparities and offer a genuinely comprehensive approach to addiction treatment in Scotland ?

Our pleas for change and effective leadership have become a broken record of desperation and exasperation. The situation is dire, and the time for tepid responses and half-measures is long past. We need decisive action now—lives are in the balance, and our patience has thoroughly worn thin, but I suspect we will get more of the same—if nothing changes, nothing changes.”

addictionrecovery #addiction #addictionawareness #recovery #recoveryispossible Castle Craig