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Extra support for people affected by alcohol and drug use during the coronavirus pandemic has been announced by the MSP Joe FitzPatrick.

The Minister for Public Health said the funding of £166,000 from the Scottish Government will support:

  • a programme to increase access to naloxone
  • increased capacity within the Know the Score helpline and webchat service
  • a COVID-19 publicity campaign signposting support for alcohol and drug use during the pandemic
  • funding to link people with others in recovery through the Scottish Recovery Consortium

The funding will come from the overall total of £93.8 million, which is being invested in 2020/21 to reduce harm from drug and alcohol use. This includes new funding of £20 million in the Scottish Budget to ensure the Drug Deaths Taskforce and Alcohol and Drug Partnerships can respond to the needs of those who are most at risk.

Mr FitzPatrick said help would also be available for those affected by another’s alcohol and drug use through the Supporting Families Fund. This includes a discretionary emergency fund for families, family meals, wellbeing packs, online wellbeing activities and counselling support.

“Responding to the coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime and it will disrupt so many lives like never before. Protecting and supporting everyone during these unprecedented times is our priority”, said Mr FitzPatrick.

The MSP explained that the Scottish Government had worked closely with organisations on the frontline to create this package of measures to ensure that those affected by alcohol and drug use continue to be supported. These included the Scottish Drugs Forum, Scottish Recovery Consortium, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, Crew, Alcohol Focus Scotland, We Are With You and Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems as well as Public Health Scotland.

“By working together and observing the latest guidance, we can all play our part in keeping everyone safe”, he said.

AlphaBiolabs has a Walk in Centre located at Glasgow Medical Rooms at 211 St Vincent Street. For information on this and our other drug testing services, please contact us on 0333 600 1300 or email info@alphabiolabs.com