Scotland’s Medication Assisted Treatment (M.A.T.) Standards published.

31 May, 2021

New treatment standards for services and organisations that support people with a drug problem in Scotland have been published today.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards for Scotland: Access, Choice, Support - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

To save lives and directly impact on Scotland’s Unique Challenge, the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards for Scotland – published by the Scottish Government on behalf of the Drugs Death Taskforce and in collaboration with Public Health Scotland - aim to enable the consistent delivery of safe, accessible, and high-quality drug treatment and support across the country.

The MAT standards have been developed by the Taskforce MAT Sub Group, chaired by Dr Duncan McCormick, and are informed by the evidence that engagement with treatment is a protective factor against drug-related harms, including death, for people who use opioids.  The collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders, including people with lived and living experience, family members, clinical directors, addiction psychiatrists, advocacy specialists, and lead addiction psychologists, as well as service providers and planners across local authorities, the NHS, and the third sector that has led to the rapid development of the standards will now be continued as the standards themselves are rolled out and implemented across a range of touchpoints.

Catriona Matheson, Task Force Chair:

The publication of the MAT Standards and the start of their implementation represents a major achievement for the Taskforce and the beginning of a new phase of our work. The Standards constitute the most significant intervention in the strategy to reduce the unacceptable level of drug related deaths. The Standards will form a critical element of the longer term, sustainable actions that will save lives, complimenting the emergency actions taken to date.

The evidence is clear that using street drugs and not being in treatment is dangerous and life-threatening. The Taskforce wants more people at risk to be in treatment programmes. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the rapid development of the Standards and who are now involved in their roll-out and adoption. Commitment like this will help save lives.

Further comment, with Minister for Drug Policy, Angela Constance, Taskforce Chair Catriona Matheson, and MAT Sub Group Chair Duncan McCormick outlining the importance and ambitions for the care standards can be viewed here.