Drug and Alcohol Misuse

This discussion paper sets out the Scottish Government's strategic approach to tackling alcohol misuse. It illustrates the scale of alcohol-related harm in Scotland and how addressing this can help to deliver a Wealthier and Fairer, Safer and Stronger, Healthier and Smarter Scotland.

The Scottish Government has announced its intention to introduce a range of measures to tackle the problems associated with binge drinking and excessive and harmful consumption of alcohol in Scottish society. This is a policy document which involves intervention by the government in a market in a way which has a direct effect on prices for consumers, in the interests of a perceived public good, in this case public health, law and order, and a reduction in employment, health service and criminal justice costs. The document covers a number of aspects of this issue.

This is the fifth in a series of monographs related to recovery management. It looks at the scientific rationale for addiction treatment systems transformation including acute-care and recovery management models of addiction treatment; recovery focused performance measures; findings from studies of addiction treatment; promising practices to improve long-term recovery outcomes and suggests measures to evaluate addiction treatment.

In 2006, Aberlour Child Care Trust and the Scottish Association of Drug and Alcohol Teams joined together to hold a second Think Tank to address the question 'Alcohol or Drugs' Does it make a difference for the Child?'. This report is entirely drawn from the Think Tank’s discussions and represents the knowledge and views of experienced managers, practitioners and researchers. It does not include evidence from research or the content of policy and guidance documents.

The development of integrated care through the promotion of ‘partnership working’ is a key policy objective of the Scottish Executive, the administration responsible for health services in Scotland. This paper considers the extent to which this goal is being achieved in mental health services, particularly those for people with severe and enduring mental illness.

This report, drawing on recent high-quality surveys including reviews and meta-analyses of measures that have proved successful in preventing substance abuse, provides professionals with information on effective drug prevention strategies. This publication provides information about best practice in drug prevention for everyone, working in the field as well as those involved in planning and decision-making at European, national, regional and municipal level.

Alcohol can cause both health and social problems. Some of the harm associated with alcohol is caused by acute intoxication, some by regular, excessive consumption over a long period. This fact sheet looks at the range of problems associated with alcohol dependence including psychological, physical or social problems.

Drug treatment is provided by a network of services. In 2005, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA), in partnership with the Healthcare Commission, embarked on a joint three-year programme of annual service reviews as part of an initiative to enhance the quality, consistency and effectiveness of drug treatment.

This paper summarises scientific research about brain development in adolescence and in particular, emphasises the changes to the prefrontal cortex of the frontal lobes which appear to be especially critical for mature decision making and impulse control. Sections within the paper address changes in the brain during adolescence at the cellular level; describes adolescent brain development from the perspective of new techniques now available for studying living brains; and, in the final section, summarises knowledge about how these brain changes may affect thinking and behaviour.