Dundee, Eastern Scotland

Addiction and Substance Misuse in Aberdeen, Dundee & Perth, Eastern Scotland

Considered the fourth largest city in Scotland, Dundee is also known for having a drug problem. However, the good news is that, according to a 2017 report by the Scottish Parliament, drug misuse has actually been on a decline among adults (those 16 to 59 years of age) from 2008 to 2015, but is still popular among the younger public (those 16 to 24 years old). It is evident that addiction remains a serious problem and needs to be addressed.

The year 2015 is now infamous for having the highest number of drug-related deaths, most of which involved use of more than one illicit substance. It is not uncommon to develop an addiction to more than one substance or process; this is known as cross-addiction.

Many people with a drug problem also consume drugs with alcohol, which can lead to adverse effects. About 73% of the 2015 drug-related deaths were adults aged 35 and over, and about 89% of the deaths were due to opioid abuse.

Addiction and Substance Misuse in Dundee

What type of addiction treatment options are available in Dundee?

Treatment for addiction can vary, and the every person has their own route to recovery. Fighting addiction is a tough battle, but with the right course and support, it is one that can be won. Options for addiction & substance misuse treatment in Dundee range from harm-reduction to total abstinence.

Harm reduction services, such as ones run by the CAIR Scotland charity, have locations in Dundee and aim at lowering the risks of drug misuse. For example, a harm-reduction centre may provide clean needles and a safe place for heroin users to inject. This will help prevent the spread of blood-borne viruses, such as AIDS.

Some facilities may also provide drug users with a legal, and therefore safer, substitute. One example is methadone. Centres such as these also offer assistance to individuals who aim to quit, and can provide appropriate resources.

Abstinence-focused treatments also range from therapy to residential rehab. The goal of an abstinence-based program is to completely remove alcohol, drug or addictive behaviour from a person’s life. Many believe that abstinence is the optimal route to take for lifelong recovery.

People with an addiction often try individual therapy, or self-help group meetings, such as the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous. Sometimes, people find that outpatient programmes do not work for them, in which case a private residential rehab, such as Castle Craig, is the best option.


How can I help someone that is struggling with addiction?

If you are worried about someone you care about, try talking to them first. Addiction is an illness and people don’t often realise they have a problem unless a loved one points it out. The earlier the addiction is addressed, the smoother the recovery process will go. Waiting for a person to hit rock bottom is not a good strategy.

When staging an intervention, make sure to assure the person that they have your support. While it is important to set boundaries and establish consequences, it is just as important to not abandon the person while they’re struggling through recovery. Setting rules is a good strategy for motivating the person to get better, but one should be careful not to cause more harm.

For example, a parent may want to cut off all financial support to their child in college unless they stop drinking. The parent’s hope is that their child will become more responsible, quit drinking, and take on a part-time job to pay for their tuition. Unfortunately, this can backfire, because the child may end up quitting school instead, and end up in more trouble.

Watching a loved one struggle with drug or alcohol addiction is just as taxing on oneself as it is on the addicted person. Family and friends of addicted individuals may find that they need therapy and support themselves as they go through the journey of recovery.

Fortunately, most recovery programmes, services and residential rehabs offer assistance to friends and family as well. Addaction is one nonprofit organisation that offers such services in and near Dundee. Castle Craig understands the importance of this and hosts a residential family programme throughout the year.