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Independent Expert Review of Opioid Replacement Therapies in Scotland

Independent Expert Review of Opioid Replacement Therapies in Scotland

  1. Phenoxide
    Independent Expert Review of Opioid Replacement Therapies in Scotland

    From the Scottish Drug Strategy Delivery Commission
    Chaired by Dr. Brian A. Kidd
    August 2013

    This report describes the findings of an independent review of treatment for those experiencing substance use problems in Scotland. It reflects work undertaken over six months by a small review team, with guidance from a steering group of leading Scottish professionals in the field. Helpful feedback was also received from international experts.

    The review was undertaken at the request of the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Sir Harry Burns, in response to a public debate regarding the perceived failure by some of the current Scottish strategy – the Road to Recovery. This had been fuelled by drug death statistics which had revealed a continuing increase in fatalities. The medical treatment, Opioid Replacement Therapy using the drug methadone, had become the focus of concern.

    One key aim was to hear a broad range of views. We took evidence from as many stakeholders as possible - from professionals delivering care, to commissioners, academics and representatives of national bodies. We also met many people who had experienced treatment first hand as well as their families and friends. The review process has been as inclusive as we could make it. The review team missed no opportunity to include any stakeholder. We thank all participants for their frankness and patience as we have tried to develop an understanding of the issues. Some have given permission for us to attribute their comments – but many have not and we have honoured this position in the report.

    Five years ago, the Road to Recovery promised much. It raised the bar regarding expectations of treatment services – easier access; more choice; better quality of assessment, care planning and delivery; a focus on outcomes; more hope of recovering and being supported to progress from problematic substance use. This report aims to give a platform from which to further improve the outcomes for Scots with substance use problems.

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