Drug Treatment and Testing Orders

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders

Scotland is right to be proud of its Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) system and their availability needs to be extended to all courts. DTTOs blend the provision of health and criminal justice needs for people who present significant risks of serious morbidity, mortality and offending recidivism. Their ability to build recovery capital by simultaneously addressing complex health, social and criminal justice needs gives service users what is often their first opportunity to forge their own recovery journey, away from chaotic, poly-drug use.

DTTO II has already demonstrated its ability to engage with women, younger offenders and people with both mental health difficulties and addiction problems.

It is vital that the capacity effectively to engage with those hard to reach, vulnerable groups is enhanced across Scotland. DTTO II's should, therefore, be rolled out nationally. DTTOs should also be strengthened by the creation of a formal, multidisciplinary, national forum to spread best practice locally and to showcase – at an international level – Scotland’s capacity to provide innovative, robust, community-based sentencing.

Serious consideration should be given to adopting innovative practice from international examples such as Portugal’s decriminalisation strategy and the city of Vancouver’s supervised drug consumption programmes.

Each person in Scotland with a drug and/or alcohol problem should know that there is a locally available service that is able to respond to their needs. There must be room for the provision of the complete rage of addictions services from harm reduction to abstinence.