New Drug & Alcohol Web Site
15 November 2001

Caithness Community Web Site            Drug Links News Index

In October 1997, The Highland Drug Action Team and the Alcohol Misuse Co-ordinating Committee for the Highland area amalgamated to form the Highland Drug and Alcohol Strategy Group. This move sought to enhance the focus and commitment given to both drug and alcohol issues under a combined structure. There is strong evidence to suggest that both issues have subsequently benefited at Highland and Drug and Alcohol level and the Strategy Group is committed to sustaining this approach.

A Strategic Document entitled ‘The Highland Way’ was launched in February 2000 which incorporated the national aims and objectives for drugs and distinguishing local features and needs. Angus MacKay, the then Depute Minister for Justice and Iain Gray, the current Depute Minister for Justice, participated in the launch at the Craigmonie Hotel.

Effective communication at both the Highland and local level is essential for the successful implementation of the Strategy, which aims to enable individuals, families and communities in the Highlands to minimise the harmful use and effects of Drugs and Alcohol.

Donald Beaton, Chair of the Skye and Lochalsh Alcohol and Drug Forum said: “members of the Forum welcome the Highland Way Website. The opportunities created by this initiative will be of great benefit to those working in the drug and alcohol field who will be able to access information regarding what is happening in Highland more easily and more quickly.”

The Website is ambitious in its aims and comprehensive in relation to content which includes; listing of agency and local forum plans, funding sources, minutes of meetings of all working groups comprising the co-ordinating structure and hyper links to many other drug and alcohol, or related, Websites.

Cllr. Ian Ross, Chair of the Highland Drug and Alcohol Strategy Group, will formally launch the Website on Friday 16th November at 10am in the Inverness Thistle Hotel immediately prior to the start of the annual review meeting of “The Highland Way” Drug and Alcohol Strategy.

Ian Ross said: “The establishment of “The Highland Way” Website is an important development. It allows the Highland Drug and Alcohol Strategy Group to make available a wide range of up to date and relevant drug and alcohol guidance material and supporting information. I am certain the general public and others will find this very useful.

The Strategy Group has a key role in leading the co-ordination of drugs and alcohol initiatives across the Highlands. It is important to raise awareness and understanding of the important partnership work which takes place within the Strategy Group - involving public agencies, the Area Forums and other key partners. The Website will play a central role in promoting and achieving this.

A good example of the positive results of this joined-up working is the ready consensus achieved over the use of Highland’s share of the “Gray monies” - the drug funding allocation from the Scottish Executive’s February 2001 Spending Review. This has allowed a number of important projects and initiatives to be developed and taken forward.”