"Scotland faces a unique multi-faceted challenge..."
Since the Drug Deaths Taskforce held its first meeting in September 2019 it has been working to draw together the evidence that will enable it to fulfil its task to identify the tailored strategy to tackle the public health crisis in Scotland’s rising Drug-Related Deaths (DRDs).
Whilst the progress of some of this work has been interrupted by the impact of Covid19, the urgency underlying this work has not. The Taskforce now sets out its high-level plan for the first time. It does so for the following reasons:
The Taskforce was formed to identify and advise on an evidence-based strategy, and its component parts, that can successfully tackle Scotland’s unique challenge. Inherent within this is the need to source the evidence which informs that strategy.
Whilst some of this is provided by the expert volunteers that make up the Taskforce, a programme of commissioning Tests of Change (TOC’s) to provide evidence is now well underway, with these scheduled to provide vital learning over the next 2-3 years. Our plan gives proposed timelines for the collation and consolidation of the evidence together with the broad categorisation or work.
The Taskforce recognises that the nature of the challenge facing us means we cannot simply wait for all evidence to emerge in its complete, collated form; we must seek to save lives as we do so. This means:
At the highest level, Evidence In Action and embracing the dual nature of our mission – Identifying strategy and making every effort to save lives as we do so – are the core of the plan being presented.
The ‘Plan on a Page’ Schematic gives detail on the planned actions and TOC’s around the Taskforce’s six identified strategies including addressing stigma. It also identifies where each action sits in relation to the Taskforce’s high-level areas of focus detailed below.
The ‘Plan on a Page’ Schematic highlights planned actions between now and the end of 2022, the deadline by which the Taskforce intends to deliver its final report detailing the evidence-based strategy needed to tackle Scotland’s unique challenge.
A key milestone is the delivery of an Interim Report in June 2021 which will detail progress against actions. It is intended to deliver this, so that an incoming government in summer 2021 can consider our proposed next steps as part of any new policy approach to DRDs.
Assuming Government approval on a way forward, the Taskforce will develop a further progress report June 2022 and seek stakeholder feedback.
The final full report will be presented by the end of 2022 when the Taskforce envisages completion of its mission.
The previously mentioned six identified strategies themselves can be categorised into the areas of focus this plan will refer to in order to provide clarity on which element in our multi-faceted challenge they address, and when we expect each to impact positively on DRD’s.
The Taskforce recognises that whilst the challenge is complex and unique, at the highest level there are only three ways to prevent lives being lost:
The three areas of focus above create the three broad categories of Taskforce focus – emergency response, reducing risk, and reducing vulnerability, with associated impact timescales of short-term, medium-term and longer-term respectively.
The three areas of focus extend to the indicators to benchmark the Taskforce’s progress towards its mission and vision. Our approach operates within the context of the Rights, Respect and Recovery framework established by Scottish Government.
New DRD Figures for 2019 published
Forward Plan published
Progress identifying strategies
New Govt response to interim report
Implementation guideImpact on DTFF and DRDs
Plan progress is intended to be monitored as follows:
|CATEGORY OF DDTF FOCUS||STRATEGIES||DDTF ESTIMATED TIMELINE IMPACT||POTENTIAL HIGH LEVEL INDICATORS?|
|EMERGENCY RESPONSE||NALOXONE||SHORT TERM||
|EMERGENCY RESPONSE||Non-fatal O/D Immediate Response Pathways||SHORT/MEDIUM TERM||
|REDUCING RISK||CRIMINAL JUSTICE||SHORT/MEDIUM TERM||
|REDUCING RISK||MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT||SHORT/MEDIUM TERM||
|REDUCING RISK||TARGETING THOSE MOST AT RISK (MCN)
including multiple complex needs
|REDUCING VULNERABILITY||STIGMA STRATEGY||LONG||
|REDUCING VULNERABILITY||Drug law reform (part of Criminal Justice strategy)||LONG||
|ALL||OPTIMISING PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEILLANCE||MEDIUM/LONG||
This website contains detail on Taskforce funding , together with detail on TOC’s which have been approved for funding to date, and an explanation of the selection process by which future TOC’s will be chosen in future funding years. A list of current funded initiatives is provided in the appendix.
The Taskforce has supported a wide range of projects and tests of change. These projects are ongoing and are required to provide regular feedback to the Taskforce as well as a final report.
The following projects have been funded/supported:
The following projects are funded: