Waiting times for receiving alcohol and drug treatment have plummeted in the Scottish Borders.
Latest ISD Scotland statistics show that by June this year 97% of patients had been seen within the target time of three weeks from referral, up from 70% in September 2017 and well above the Scotland wide target of 90%.
Waiting times and treatment are the responsibility of Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships (ADPs), joint bodies run by health boards, councils and representatives from the police.
Councillor John Greenwell, a member of the Borders ADP said: “This is very positive news, which puts the Scottish Borders back ahead of the national average in terms of waiting times. The ADP has been working very hard to bring waiting times down and these efforts have paid off.
“Evidence shows that early interventions are much more effective in targeting alcohol and drug problems, so its encouraging to see so many people in the Borders getting the help they need more quickly.”
John Lamont MP said: “This significant improvement in waiting times is down to the hard work of NHS Borders, Scottish Borders Council and others involved in the Alcohol and Drug Partnership in the last few months.
“It is good to see different public and voluntary bodies in the Borders working so effectively together.
“Although we are talking about a relatively low number of individuals, the cost that substance abuse has on our health services, our police and on other public services is significant. Alcohol harm alone is estimated to cost the Borders over £30m each year.”