Home > Staying alive in Scotland: strategies to prevent drug deaths.

Scottish Drugs Forum. (2019) Staying alive in Scotland: strategies to prevent drug deaths. Glasgow: Scottish Drugs Forum.

PDF (Staying alive in Scotland: strategies to prevent drug deaths - toolkit)
PDF (Staying alive in Scotland: 2016 report)

In this document there is a focus on identifying underlying physical and mental health conditions and supporting people to access treatment with low threshold prescribing and quick access to optimal prescribing. There is an emphasis on providing a range of options to allow individuals to work in partnership with the services that are supporting them. Referral pathways and information sharing, which allow individuals who need further investigations or support to specialists, are an important part of increasing the physical resilience of people who use drugs.


The toolkit is split into fourteen chapters each covering a different area of service. Underpinning these is an awareness of, and commitment to, reducing the stigma experienced by people who use drugs. These chapters are designed utilised independently of each other in order to support the particular aims of the service at that time. When used together, they formulate the basis of a drug death prevention plan. Workforce considerations are integrated within each chapter as a suggestion of how the good practice indicators may be achieved.


The electronic version of the toolkit utilises a traffic light system which allows staff to see at a glance where they have achieved the Good Practice Indicators in any given chapter and the likely timescale, if not yet achieved. There is also the facility to designate “the responsible individual” and attach any supporting policies and procedures, allowing the toolkit to become a larger “one stop” resource which would hold all the tools relating to drug-related deaths in one, easily accessible place. Each Good Practice Indicator is SMART (Specific, Measured, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report
Drug Type
All substances, CNS stimulants, Opioid
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
November 2019
136 p.
Scottish Drugs Forum
Corporate Creators
Scottish Drugs Forum
Place of Publication
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