Health and Wellbeing Progress – Recommendation 6

Drugs misuse

The Scottish Government and NHS(S) should assess the scale and nature of drugs misuse – especially prescription and non-prescription painkillers – amongst the veterans community in Scotland and introduce remedial measures. This should be taken forward by the Joint Group and network, and included as part of the Mental Health Action Plan.

2019 SVC evaluation of status:

Partially implemented

2019 update provided by the Scottish Government:

The new Drug and Alcohol Information System (DAISy) will be introduced no later than December 2019. DAISy will gather key demographic and outcome data on people who engage in drug and alcohol treatment services and a field identifier for veterans has been included. This will provide useful data on the nature and scale of drug misuse among veterans across Scotland. Alongside this is potential to link this dataset to other health and social care datasets, providing a more detailed picture of service demand.

2020 SVC evaluation of status:

Not implemented

2020 update provided by the Scottish Government:

The DAISy system will record details of individuals receiving treatment for alcohol and drug problems and will have the facility to highlight veteran status, so that the scale and nature of those receiving treatment can be measured. Timeframes for DAISy have been reviewed externally and an implementation date has been set for before the end of the current calendar year Once implemented, we will use the first quarter of data collection to construct metrics around alcohol and drug treatment in the veterans population. The Scottish Government has established a Short Life Working Group (SLWG) on Prescription Medicine Dependence and Withdrawal. Its remit is to consider, in a Scottish context, the recommendations made in the Public Health England Prescribed Medicines review (of the evidence for the dependence on, and withdrawal from, prescribed medicines). The group has met virtually during the COVID period and will report its finding (in the form of draft recommendations) to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport by the end of October. It is envisaged that a public consultation will then follow.

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