About the Taskforce

Evidence into action

The Taskforce’s 15 members had expertise in developing and delivering the policies and services that protect those at risk of a drug-related death. Chaired by David Strang, the Taskforce was charged with helping to tackle Scotland’s unique challenge by identifying evidence-based strategies that would make a difference to those most at risk. The Taskforce membership featured those with health, social services, research, police, criminal justice and emergency service backgrounds but also those who brought lived experience of drug and addiction issues ensuring that the Taskforce had access to the fullest possible spectrum of expertise and testimony.

The Taskforce pursued six areas of strategy which held the most promise for maximum impact.  Evidence gaps were also addressed through research and practical tests of change.

Some of these ranged from the immediate and pragmatic such as naloxone opioid overdose reversal treatment availability, whilst some were concerned with making deeper changes to service delivery such as introducing national standards to Medication Assisted Treatment that put people at the centre rather than the service.

Our final report is the culmination of three years of work identifying what works in saving and improving lives. We’ve called it Changing Lives, because we know that change is needed, and that change is possible. There are real challenges, but there is also hope. The evidence is clear, now is the time to act.