Alcohol and Drug Services

The impact of alcohol and substance misuse in Scotland is widespread and has a significant impact on the health and well-being of individuals, their family members and local communities (Scottish Government 2018). Lanarkshire is no exception. A range of National strategies have been published to address the problems and many local strategies have been introduced which seek to limit the damage caused by alcohol and substance misuse within our communities in Lanarkshire.

Rights, Respect and Recovery, (2018) is Scotland’s newly published alcohol and drugs strategy which is aimed at improving health by preventing and reducing alcohol and drug use, harm and related deaths.

Recovery is an approach that implies “shifting care from a passive model to one regarding those being helped as active participants with services facilitating their recovery” (SACDM 2008, p.10). The aim, is to empower service users to assume more responsibility for themselves and work with providers and others (e.g. family and friends) to make plans for reaching these goals.

Recovery can mean different things at different times to different people, its concept recognises the role of a wide range of social factors, including, children / family relationships, employability, housing, deprivation and on developing personal strength and resilience. It also recognises the value of investing in local communities to develop social capital and community enablement.

This is the philosophy at the heart of all Liber8’s work, as we continue to provide the many community based interventions and services across Lanarkshire to help individuals and families break free from the chains of addiction and move forward in their recovery journey.

It was with great pleasure that Liber8 was able to announce that we have been awarded the South Lanarkshire, Alcohol & Drug Partnership contract to host the South Lanarkshire Recovery Hubs; everyone at Liber8 is thrilled to be part of this new and exciting approach to Recovery in South Lanarkshire and share South Lanarkshire Alcohol & Drug Partnerships vision, of ensuring that there is visible treatment and recovery embedded into our local communities by adopting an asset based approach; developing services and care and support systems using a whole systems approach, the values of which should emphasise more compassion in the system, dignity and respect and the provision of healing environments and which are trauma informed.

The first two premises have been identified in Blantyre and Lanark and work will be commencing shortly to make them ready for Liber8 to occupy and begin the work. We believe that for this new approach to work successfully, everyone has a part to play, we want to engage with communities, clients, all of us with lived experience, services and partners; to inform and direct the progression of the centres and ensuring the voice of lived experience is instrumental in moving forward. Liber8 have been overwhelmed by the announcement’s positive response already and the volume of offers of help being made by a whole range of people, including, individual community members and groups, people with lived experience and partner agencies across the board. Over the coming weeks and months there will be much work to do and Liber8 are looking forward to meeting, speaking and working in partnership with as many people as possible. The Beacons are a new approach and its about being able to offer real opportunities and progress the visibility and positivity of Recovery in South Lanarkshire.

Many people at some point in their life have to access support or treatment for a particular health and or social care issue. Alcohol and substance misuse is no different and many people have to access support to help them deal with the accompanying issues that come along with their use and misuse; this could be physical, emotional or spiritual support and could involve a range of interventions including detox, maintenance, counselling or support. Knowing where to access appropriate support can take some of the distress out of the situation for both the individual and for their family members.

Recovery Orientated System of Care (ROSC)

Previously health and social care were separate services however more and more integration of the two is becoming the norm. Having said that there are still many regions and localities where the treatment and support system still work separately, in fact the system could involve access to several components such as acute, statutory health and social care treatment, third sector provision and mutual aid. However, Lanarkshire is different in that they promote a Recovery Orientated System of Care (ROSC) which basically means that all parts of the system are much more entwined so that each part is available to service users at all stages of their recovery journey – not as the often termed parallel processing of clients.  The common definition of a Recovery Orientated System of Care  is

A coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is person-centred and builds on the strengths and resiliencies of individuals, families, and communities to achieve recovery and improved health, wellness, and quality of life for those with or at risk of alcohol and drug problems.

By design, a ROSC provides individuals and families with more options with which to make informed decisions regarding their care. Services are designed to be accessible, welcoming, and easy to navigate. A fundamental value of a ROSC is the involvement of people in recovery, their families, and the community to continually improve access to and quality of services. It supports the principle that there are many pathways to recovery, with activities including, providing a menu of traditional treatment services and alternative therapies such as support and counselling, peer recovery and meditation. Recovery support services, include help with employment, housing support and financial budgeting assistance; all designed to enhance the engagement of individuals and their families in achieving and sustaining recovery

Lanarkshire's Alcohol and Drug Partnership Recovery Strategy (2010-2014), in implementing a recovery-focused system, sets out the intention to provide clients with services that offer:

  • hope
  • choice
  • empowerment
  • viable treatment and life options  

Excitingly in terms of treatment focus, recovery is at the heart of the treatment ethos and the methods proposed are basically about encouraging clients and staff to embrace a community focused approach to client empowerment and long-term change. This focus on a recovery approach to treatment and support is not suggesting an alternative to treatment but rather an addition of linking service users into wider community supports

Liber8’s adult projects ensure their service design and delivery are based around these national and local strategies aiming to take guidance and support from them in addressing alcohol and substance misuse problems in Lanarkshire


This project is now closed.