We are passionate about playing our part in tackling alcohol and drug misuse is Scotland. We have extensive research and evaluation experience in the field and no little expertise. We’ve worked with third sector organisations supporting people in recovery and their families, as well as with Scottish Government and NHS Scotland in assessing policy and programmes. Ian is a longstanding member the Society for the Study of Addiction and he was awarded a Distinction in Drug and Alcohol Studies from the University of Stirling.
From 2019 to 2021 we conducted a formative evaluation of the Scottish Government’s National Development Project Fund which was a key part of the Rights, Respect and Recovery strategy to tackle drug and alcohol misuse in Scotland. The Fund supported ten projects including innovative work led by Scottish Recovery Consortium to enhance advocacy for people in recovery, and Independence from Drugs and Alcohol Scotland’s development of a long-term residential recovery community at River Garden Auchincruive near Ayr. Our final report was published by Scottish Government in March 2021. Our previous evaluations include Barnardo’s Scotland’s Hopscotch Project and Strengthening Families Programme in Angus, Elevate-Glasgow PSP (see case study), the Scotch Whisky Association Action Fund, and Liber8 Lanarkshire’s Meridian community support programme.
We’ve also been involved in a variety of social research projects. We recently completed qualitative research for NHS Health Scotland and Scottish Government on the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing on young people’s alcohol use (see case study) which provided a fascinating insight into underage drinking in Scotland. For the same clients, we previously assessed the availability of and need for specialist alcohol treatment services in Scotland. The study involved detailed statistical analysis which enabled us to produce, for the first time in Scotland, an estimate of the Prevalence-Service Utilisation Ratio - the gap between the need for, and uptake of, alcohol treatment. We also undertook qualitative research for NHS Lanarkshire to examine why some adults with drug and alcohol issues do not access support services or mutual aid groups.
We’ve also undertaken research on alcohol licensing in Scotland. We conducted research for Argyll and Bute Licensing Board regarding potential changes to their over-provision statement. In Glasgow, we examined the extent of, and barriers, to community involvement in alcohol licensing decisions; our findings included a number of recommendations to enhance the community’s role in the licensing process.