Categories
Health

Encouraging Results from Minimum Pricing of Alcohol

Commenting on the Public Health Scotland report on off-trade alcohol sales in the year following the implementation of Minimum Unit Pricing, Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick MSP said:

“It’s now unarguable that the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in Scotland has delivered a reduction in the sale of alcohol.

“Today’s report found that MUP was associated with a net reduction of between 4 and 5% in off-trade alcohol sales per adult in its first year.

“These are very encouraging results for the first full year of our world-leading MUP policy. 

“The study takes account of a comparison with England and Wales, where MUP was not in place, and also factors such as underlying trends and seasonality. 

“The results mean it is reasonable to conclude that MUP was responsible for these reductions.“ 

Categories
Coronavirus Drugs Prisons

Supporting people affected by drug use

Over £2 million for new package of support during coronavirus (COVID-19).

New measures to assist those affected by drug use during the COVID-19 pandemic have been announced by the Scottish Government.

The measures include:

  • £1.9 million to support people in prison on prescribed Opiate Substitution Treatment (OST) to switch to a new longer-acting form called buvidal
  • £150,000 for an enhanced offer of residential rehab to people leaving prison during the pandemic to support their recovery and to reduce the pressure on local services
  • widening the availability of overdose reversal drug Naloxone while measures to tackle coronavirus remain in place

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick MSP said:

“While this public health crisis is ongoing, we must not lose sight of the fact there continues to be a significant number of highly vulnerable individuals who are at great risk of harm as a result of alcohol and drug use, who continue to need a wide range of help and support.

“Buvidal is an alternative to methadone or buprenorphine tablets which is administered by a seven or 28 day injectable dose, rather than daily administration. By making this available to people in prisons, we will support continuity of care, while reducing the need for daily contact and reducing pressure on our front line prison officers and NHS staff.

“Furthermore, a high proportion of those leaving or about to leave prison will require support for their recovery from problem alcohol or drug. Funding to pay for additional residential rehabilitation places will support their recovery and to reduce the pressure on local services.

“I welcome the Lord Advocate’s statement of prosecution policy in respect of the distribution of naloxone during the period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This will help to ensure that we can continue to support those affected by drug use and keep them safe.”

Joe FitzPatrick MSP on a visit to Addaction Dundee in 2019