The cost of alcohol and drug misuse

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A total of £1.78 million was available to deal with alcohol and drugs misuse in the Borders during 2015-16.

Funding from the Scottish Government (£1.35 million), Scottish Borders Council (£190,000), NHS Borders (£120,000 )and others (£117,00), was spent on community focused prevention (£268,000), treatment and support services (£1.16 million), £50,000 on recovery and £201,000 on dealing with the consequences of problem alcohol and drug use. There was an underspend of £102,000.

Between April 2014 and March 2015, a total of 261 people in the Borders were receiving opiate replacement therapies (such as methadone). GP prescribing is low in the region, support coming from the Borders Addiction Service.

Referral times are usually within three weeks (97% of clients) and help is also available from local support groups such as a fortnightly Recovery Life Cafe in Galashiels a weekly drop-in centre at Hawick, and an independent weekly group in Eyemouth.

In a report to Scottish Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, its strategic lead Fiona Doig, said: “The national allocation for Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership has been reduced by 22% from April 2016 and some reductions have been made in areas which do not directly impact on frontline services.”

During this financial year £220,000 of Scottish Borders Integration Joint Board money will be used to review the current system.

Ms Doig adding: “By undertaking an approach to reducing overall consumption in the whole population we will contribute to reducing alcohol and drug related harm both to individual and family circumstances but also social problems in communities such as crime and disorder.”