New live-in unit to help more Scots fight booze and drugs

A new residential service is to open to help people fight drug and alcohol addictions.

The unit has 11 beds for detoxification treatment and a further 10 providing rehabilitation care for patients who have suffered an alcohol- related brain injury.

The service will be offered at the newly refurbished Murdostoun Castle in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, which already runs a service providing care for patients with brain injuries and neuro-disabilities.

Patients recovering from drug and alcohol addiction will stay for up to two weeks, with those recovering from alcohol-related brain damage offered up to six months of care.

They will have access to a team of specialist nurses, occupational therapists, counsellors and support workers.

Figures show drug-related deaths increased from 224 to 449 between 1996 and 2009, while one in every 50 deaths in Scotland is now linked to chronic liver disease.

Murdostoun Castle is run by private healthcare provider, The Huntercombe Group, but the service will take referrals from NHS boards across Scotland.

It is expected to be fully operational by the end of this month.

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust runs a residential service in Springburn, Glasgow, which also provides care for patients with acquired brain injury.

Evan McGhee, centre manager, said “The new service will work closely with the NHS, social services and voluntary organisations to help people with serious addiction problems regain control of their lives.

“The castle is on the same site as the Murdostoun Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre, which Huntercombe also operate. Our unit allows a very high level of clinical expertise to support these clients.

“For too long, clients with the most severe forms of alcohol dependence have not been able to access dedicated specialist care.”

The new addictions centre is registered with SCSWIS, formerly the Scottish Care Commission.

The Huntercombe Group opened its first unit in Sunderland in 1998. This service was given three ‘excellent’ ratings by the Care Quality Commission for England.

Drug and alcohol-related death rates in Scotland are among the highest in Europe and have doubled in the past 15 years.

Charities say alcohol misuse causes three times the number of deaths of drug misuse, which have a combined cost to the Scottish economy of around £173million a year.