Targeting the People Most at Risk

Research into the circumstances of fatal and near-fatal overdoses has supported the development of interventions that target high-risk situations or high-risk individuals. Overall, the evidence strongly indicates that a significant reduction in fatal and near-fatal drug overdoses could be achieved by the implementation of a range of interventions that can target different aspects of recurring risk scenarios and profiles such as release from prison and poly-drug use, the latter being a characteristic of Scotland’s challenge.

Many of those at high risk are impacted by a number of inter-related characteristics and have multiple complex needs.  Mental health problems and poor physical health makes people more vulnerable. People experiencing homelessness are also at higher risk of health problems and drug related harm. Improving the understanding of key agencies of how these interact and can be best treated was a high priority for the Taskforce.

Those who are most at risk can also be those who are hardest to reach and engage. Yet finding a meaningful, practical and effective way through to them has to be a key Taskforce ambition