Reducing harm caused by alcohol


Concern as funding for alcohol services cut

Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, has expressed concern at the news that funding for local Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) has fallen this year in half of Scotland’s NHS board areas.

She said:

"Direct Scottish Government funding to ADPs, who commission prevention, support and treatment services to meet local need, was reduced but health boards were supposed to make up the shortfall to ensure no loss of support. However, a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives has shown that this has not happened in half of health board areas. The biggest cut is in Lanarkshire where spending from Scottish Government and the NHS board amounts to a cut of £700,000 on 2015/16. Funding has also gone down in Dumfries and Galloway, Fife, Grampian, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

"The situation is likely to get worse in 2017/18 as alcohol and drugs funding is now part of general NHS Board allocations. Cutting alcohol and drugs services is a false economy - for every £1 spent on treatment, £5 is saved. Early intervention is key to prevent irreparable damage to people’s health and to prevent higher costs to the NHS and public services further down the line.

"These cuts will be felt most by vulnerable people in our society and we urge the Scottish Government to review funding arrangements for vital substance misuse services."