Dealing with addiction will always be stressful – and delays in getting help just adds to that stress.
So it is vital that, when people seek help, they can get it as quickly as possible.
It is particularly important in Scotland, and Dundee, which often tops the European charts for drugs deaths.
To help you better understand how long it might take to access drug and alcohol services we have created a series of charts that cover waiting times across Scotland.
The data on this page is sourced from the NHS Scotland open data site.
Charts will be updated when new data is available.
What is the target for drug and alcohol services waiting times in Scotland?
The Scottish Government set new targets in 2011.
The aim was to ensure staff from a specialist addiction service saw 90% of new referrals within three weeks.
Officials said the target was “to ensure more people recover from drug and alcohol problems so they can live longer, healthier lives, realising their potential and making a positive contribution to society and the economy”.
NHS Scotland prioritised drug and alcohol services during the pandemic and the Scottish government asked health boards to ensure service delivery maintained pre-covid level adherence to the waiting time target.
Waiting times by Scottish Alcohol and Drug Partnership
Alcohol and Drug partnerships (ADPs) bring together Scottish local authorities, health boards, the police, and relevant voluntary bodies.
They generally follow local-authority boundaries.
The chart below provides the drug and alcohol waiting times data broken down by Scottish ADP, and covers community-based services only.
Use the dropdown to navigate between areas.
Waiting times in prisons
Due to the unique needs of the prison population there is separate data for substance misuse waiting times for inmates.
Data is not available at a prison level but a breakdown is provided by the ADP the prison is located in.
Use the dropdown below to select your area of interest.
Where can I get help?
If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs or alcohol, it’s important to seek help.
You can find a list of services in your area and more information on how to access them via the NHS inform website.
If you have been impacted by long waiting times and wish to share your story, please fill in the form below.
More health data
This article is part of a series that aims to make data about waiting times and pressures on the NHS more accessible and easy to understand.
You can view the rest of the series below.
The charts in this tracker series are automatically updated with the latest available data from Public Health Scotland. The source code for this project can be found on our data team GitHub page.