Public Health Scotland has today published the 2022/23 benchmarking report on the progress Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADP) in Scotland are making to meet the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) standards. MAT refers to the use of medication, such as opioids, together with psychological and social support, in the treatment and care of individuals who experience problems with their drug use.

The report shows a substantial improvement to access and choice of treatment for people with problematic drug use in the last 12 months, and improvement in other MAT standards. However, there is still more to do and the ongoing dialogue with people using and providing services is key to sustaining these improvements and ensuring that change continues.

The MAT standards aim to improve access, choice and care for people who experience drug problems across Scotland. Public Health Scotland is working to help Alcohol and Drug Partnership areas implement the standards which contribute to the Scottish Government’s national mission to reduce drug related deaths and harms.

The Drug Deaths Taskforce published ten evidence-based, measurable standards of care in May 2021 and they provide a framework to help increase the number of people receiving effective treatment and enable people to benefit from treatment and support for as long as they need it.

Duncan McCormick, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Public Health Scotland said:

“This continued improvement in implementing the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) standards is a direct result of hard work and collaboration within and between Alcohol and Drug Partnerships - including clinical colleagues, third sector partners, and people with lived and living experience. There has also been a significant shift in culture and this has helped to overcome many barriers to change.

“To ensure that change benefits people affected by problematic drug use, we must build and maintain the positive dialogue with people using and providing services.

“Over the coming year the priority will be full, equitable and sustained implementation of all ten MAT standards across Scotland. This will be key in ensuring that all people affected by problematic drug use benefit; including women, young people, people who live in remote and rural areas and people who use benzodiazepines and stimulants.”

Read the full report.

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Last updated: 20 June 2023