Drug Rehab News

Closure of Aberdeenshire drug rehab facility to be raised at Holyrood – Press and Journal

The closing of a drug rehabilitation clinic in Aberdeenshire is due to take place this week in Holyrood due to concerns over the increasing number of drug deaths in Scotland.

Conservative MSP Alexander Burnett will ask the Scottish government how to help those in need of treatment after the Alexander Clinic in Oldmeldrum has closed.

The private detoxification and rehabilitation clinic in residential areas closed its doors a few months ago.

Mr Burnett said the lack of a facility in Aberdeenshire was particularly important given the record drug deaths recorded last year and falling funding for drug and alcohol services.

This summer it became known that 1,187 people in Scotland suffered a drug-related death in 2018 – an increase of 27 percent over the previous year.

Scotland now has a higher rate of drug-related deaths than the US and any other EU nation.

It has also been claimed that alcohol and drug partnerships in Scotland have successively seen real cuts in their funding of 6.3 percent between 2018-19 and 2014-15.

Mr. Burnett said: “Recent figures have made it clear that Scotland is in the middle of a drug-related crisis.

“Unfortunately, this is due to cuts in drug and alcohol partnerships by this SNP government.

"The Alexander Clinic in Oldmeldrum was the only rehabilitation facility of its kind in Aberdeenshire."

He added: “The closure leaves a significant gap in local resources and I will ask Nicola Sturgeon's government to take action to remedy this.

“If not, we will abandon families in North East Scotland who are already under enormous pressure.

“The Scottish Conservatives have a clear strategy to fight the scourge of drug addiction in our communities.

"The focus is on investments in rehabilitation programs for residential buildings that have proven successful in supporting addicts and their families."

A Scottish government spokesman said: “We want to make sure that anyone who needs drug rehabilitation treatment has access to it. That is why we have invested £ 800 million in combating alcohol and drug use since 2008, with over £ 70 million available to help reduce the harm caused by drug abuse.

“Our government program, which was announced last week, will provide an additional £ 20 million to support local services and targeted support over the next two years.

"It is the responsibility of alcohol and drug partnerships to provide services based on local needs with tailored support to those who need them to reduce problematic substance use and the associated harm."

Wayne Gault, a senior official at the Aberdeenshire Drug and Alcohol Partnership, said Scotland is facing a "national public emergency" when it comes to drug death.

“It was a disappointment that the Alexander Clinic closed its doors for various operational and commercial reasons.

“However, one of the reasons was that detoxification and rehabilitation capacity in the Aberdeenshire community had increased over the years, which meant fewer people needed access to dormitory service.

“We need a regional or national plan for how we provide resources to residential facilities, as evidence for a minority of complex cases indicates that they are essential. However, the number of these cases from Aberdeenshire is not sufficient to justify a particular facility for Aberdeenshire. "

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