A rights-based approach for drug and alcohol policy in Scotland

In January 2022, Scotland’s First Minister invited Professor Alan Miller, a proven human rights leader, to become independent Chair and build the National Collaborative.

The National Collaborative’s vision is to integrate human rights into drug and alcohol policy leading to better outcomes for people affected by substance use.

The National Collaborative will develop an approach that brings together:

  1. A Change Team of people affected by substance use and their families (rights holders), independent advocates (rights defenders), service providers (duty bearers) and regulators to co-design an Action Plan.
  2. A Learning and Leadership Network of organisations involved in connecting the National Collaborative with wider communities, groups, and existing networks.
  3. Reference Groups of communities and groups identified as underrepresented on the Change Team to provide advice and extend the reach of the National Collaborative.

The National Collaborative will be independent of government and challenge it whenever necessary.

The Action Plan for the National Collaborative will include:

  • A Charter of Rights, co-designed between people affected by problem substance use, service providers and government.
  • An Implementation Framework, to ensure these rights are made real in everyday life.
  • A Monitoring and Evaluation Framework to measure the on the ground impact of the Charter of Rights.

The National Collaborative is supported by a team from Scottish Government Drug Policy Division facilitated by the ALLIANCE (The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland).

The publication ‘Roadmap for the National Collaborative’, available at the bottom of the page, details how a human rights-based approach will be put in to practice. It outlines how people will be put at the heart of Scottish Government’s National Mission to reduce drug related deaths and improve lives impacted by drugs.

The publication ‘Analysis Full Report – National Collaborative’ is also available at the bottom of this page. This report shares findings from National Collaborative evidence gathering sessions which took place between May and August 2023. These events brought together people affected by substance use, their families and people working across a wide range of services to share experiences of substance use and human rights. This report is also available in a summary and easy read version at the bottom of this page.

The National Collaborative are looking forward to publishing a draft Charter of Rights for people affected by substance use in December 2023. More details on this publication will be available soon.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with someone about the work of the National Collaborative please email georgina.charlton@alliance-scotland.org.uk

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