Free phone line launched to help drugs users stay safe
A new anonymous phone service will see trained staff stay on the line while people are using drugs to ensure they remain safe.
The “Never Use Alone” phone line will be run by the charity We Are With You backed by £100,000 funding from the Scottish government.
The service is the first of its kind in Europe and will initially be trialled in Glasgow and North and South Ayrshire. These areas have been chosen so the system can be assessed in both urban and rural areas.
“Never Use Alone” will begin in November and will eventually be rolled out across the country.
Drugs policy minister Angela Constance said: “I welcome this phone line which will be operated by We Are With You and which will undoubtedly play a part in tackling Scotland’s drug deaths crisis.
“Many of those people who have lost their life while using drugs were alone at the time and I encourage people to take advantage of this service – the first of its kind in Europe – to help them stay safe.
“While backing this service, we are also continuing to work to overcome existing legal barriers to implement safe consumption rooms in Scotland.”
We Are With You executive director Andrew Horne said: “The scale of the problem we’re facing in Scotland demands urgent, radical action and we want to do everything we can to help tackle this crisis.
“This phone line is about keeping people safe. Our staff will ensure they are aware what substances an individual has taken and what they are intending to take. They will also find out exactly where they are in case the emergency services are required.
“We hope that we can provide people with the support they need at the time they call in but also that we can take the opportunity to encourage them to seek help from services which provide the support which is right for them in the longer term.”