A new, free phone line, ‘Never Use Alone’ has been launched by We Are With You with £100,000 funding from the Scottish Government. The service is available in Glasgow and North and South Ayrshire from 16 November, and will then be rolled out across Scotland.
The anonymous phone line will establish important information such as a person’s exact location, what substances are being used, and whether doors can be left unlocked to allow ambulance service access. Trained staff will stay on the line to make sure people remain safe, and the service also aims to encourage them to seek the right longer-term support from treatment agencies.
The initiative, which has been developed in consultation with the ambulance service and local authorities, is being launched in response to Scotland’s ever-increasing levels of drug-related deaths. The initial areas have chosen to study how well the service can work in both urban and rural areas.
‘The scale of the problem we’re facing in Scotland demands urgent, radical action,’ said executive director of We Are With You in Scotland, Andrew Horne. ‘Every life lost to drugs is an unacceptable tragedy. This phone line is about keeping people safe and is a vital part of the much wider solutions we need to bring down this country’s staggeringly high rates of drug related deaths. As well as keeping people safe, we hope it will help to connect people with the support they need to help them make positive changes to their lives.’
‘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,’ added drugs policy minister Angela Constance. ‘While backing this service, we are also continuing to work to overcome existing legal barriers to implement safe consumption rooms in Scotland.’
The free ‘Never Use Alone’ free phone line number is 0808 801 0690