MORE than £2M is set to be ploughed into addiction services across NHS Greater Glasgow, as addicts outnumber those in other Scottish cities.
With figures revealing that around 16,000 Glaswegians have serious drug misuse problems and around 33,000 constantly exceed the safe alcohol consumption limit, addictions teams are determined to expand.
Gail Reid, NHSGG Addictions Manager, said: "The impact addiction has on NHS Greater Glasgow's health services is immense, so we've grabbed the bull by the horns and planned developments that we believe are vital.
"We have an alcohol strategy in place which, over the next three years, will see us working with local authorities to strive for prevention as well as improved treatment.
"In addition to these aims, our Drug Action Team strategy incorporates rehabilitation, employment and training opportunities for former addicts.
"And as far as NHS and local authority integration goes, the recent review of our Methadone Programme proved this is the way forward. An additional 1,000 people joined the programme in that time, while GP participation in the scheme also climbed.
"We are now in the process of introducing 12 integrated health and social care Community Addictions Teams (CATs) across Glasgow, starting in the east, north east and Greater Pollock."
Gail added that the overall CAT aim is to bring health and social care staff together in order to make a stronger impact, ensuring that people with urgent needs will have the greatest access to the most co-ordinated services possible.
She went on: "We know that addiction services are critical to others such as criminal justice, homeless support and child care. We're not planning to rearrange the whole system, but merely improve management of specialist addiction services and so make a more coherent and integrated structure."
And smoking problems are also in line for this successful link approach, as NHSGG begins a tobacco strategy with Glasgow City Council, with the ultimate aim of working with all other surrounding authorities.
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