Our purpose and aims

Scotland has an unacceptably high number of drug related deaths. Addressing this, and exploring ways of preventing fatal overdose amongst those at the highest risk is a national priority.

Evidence highlights that digital exclusion – lack of access to the online world, and the opportunity to connect and remain connected to families, friends and support services -  is a particular issue amongst people with multiple and complex needs. The loss of much face-to-face contact with services, friends and families during Covid-19 showed the potential of using digital means to maintain support, contact and connection. 

The Scottish Government’s policy is set out in the national strategy “Rights, Respect, and Recovery” and has been revitalised with a National Mission to improve and save lives. The National Mission sets out the Scottish Government’s priorities for implementing a public health approach to reducing drug-related harm and death.

Digital Lifelines Scotland seeks to help overcome this digital exclusion and to design new digital solutions that better meet people’s needs and improve the health outcomes for people who use drugs, reducing the risk of harm and death.  Funding of £2.75m for a two year programme has been provided by Scottish Government and the Drugs Deaths Taskforce.

The programme aims to have a range of digital solutions and re-designed services that meet the needs of people with multiple and complex needs at increased risk of drug related harm are available and are being adopted.  Specifically

  1. People have greater access to digital solutions that keep them safe and that enable them to become and remain connected to family, friends and relevant services that support them.
  2. The services that support these citizens have the digital means to develop and strengthen the support they provide, and staff that are skilful in using and developing digital solutions to enable those they support.
  3. The sector is digitally connected and collaborating, developing joined-up services and exploring innovative solutions together.