I was delighted to be asked by the then Health and Justice Ministers to Chair the Stocktake of Alcohol and Drug Action Teams to review their performance and capability. Having been a Chair of the Lanarkshire ADAT for 10 years during my time as Executive Director of Social Work for South Lanarkshire Council, I have seen at first hand the importance of having an effective local structure to tackle drug and alcohol misuse. I have had for many years a keen interest in the problems associated with substance misuse and have been a member of both the Scottish Advisory Committee on Drugs Misuse and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. I am also a past Chair of the Association of Drug Action Teams
Alcohol and Drug Action Teams have been in existence in a number of forms dating back to the creation of Alcohol Misuse Co-ordinating Committees in 1989 and subsequently the formation of Drug Action teams in 1995. The time was therefore right to review how effective the ADAT approach has been in achieving local action which benefits communities and which contributes to improvements at a national level. Looking forward, we need to determine whether the ADAT approach of local partnership is the best one to tackle the continuing challenges of greater availability and lower price of both drugs and alcohol and the cost, both human and economic, which misuse brings
This Report aims to guide Ministers in reaching those decisions about the future. It is the culmination of seven months intensive work by the small multi-agency Stocktake Team, with whom I have had the considerable benefit of working. The Team has visited every ADAT in Scotland, conducting interviews with Chairs, members, staff, service users and other stakeholders. It has also consulted a wide range of national organisations and individuals with knowledge and expertise of substance misuse and the role of ADATs. In all, well over 300 meetings have taken place and the Team has drawn on a wide range of publications, data and analysis. This can therefore be fairly described as an extremely comprehensive overview and evaluation of the state of play of ADATs at the present time. The report analyses the evidence gathered, draws conclusions and makes recommendations about the way forward. The conclusions have been drawn together on the basis of what was found and as a result of very considerable discussion by the Team throughout the process and while the report is a reflection of the collective experience of the Team, the ultimate responsibility for what is put forward lies with me.
I commend and thank the Team for their professionalism and dedication and the production of a carefully considered report which I hope will provide a sound basis for future Ministerial decisions on the delivery of policy and action on alcohol and drug misuse.
Sandy Cameron, CBE