FASS Secure Funding in Combatting Drug Deaths in Fife

FASS’s Near Fatal Overdose (NFO) team will be helping people and their loved ones avoid drug related deaths until 2026. The team is doubled in capacity, thanks to the grant of £386,041 from the Corra Foundation. The grant is recognition of the important work FASS’s NFO team are doing, while Scotland’s drug deaths outstrip any other country in Europe.

FASS manager Dave Dempster said, “This grant allows us to continue the vital work our NFO team are doing across Fife. In particular, it lets us continue to focus support in areas with high drug related deaths. We work closely with the Scottish Ambulance Service and other partners to make sure people get the support they need after a near fatal overdose.

“Many people don’t realise that the likelihood of death within a month of a near fatal overdose is very high. A lot of what we do is to help make sure that doesn’t happen. We support people through those 28 days and beyond, making sure they are on track with all the treatment and practical support they need. And we educate about the dangers of drugs—including prescription drugs—and overdosing. We’re helping families and communities get wiser about what misuse of alcohol, prescription and street drugs can do, and providing support to save pointless loss of life.”

FASS NFO team worked with around 600 individuals and their loved ones in the last year. Support is wraparound and based on what the client needs—from testing for blood borne viruses, advocacy and helping clients attend services, to counselling and Naloxone training for significant others.

John Hamilton, FASS Chair, commented, “The NFO team’s partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service and proactivity in opening new direct referral pathways with other key services is exemplary. For every person who loses their life to drugs, whole families and communities of others are affected. Fife may still be under threat from drug related deaths but our team is reducing the number of those deaths in our local authority area.” Dave Dempster added, “We’re getting better at partnership working so people don’t fall through the cracks. It’s heartening to see the team leading on the official launch of the KY8 Community in Fisher Street Centre, Methil, on 22nd April. This is an ongoing space for community engagement around drugs misuse and there’s no Powerpoint involved. Just drop in any Friday between 11 and 2. Anyone can come along and have a chat, a cuppa or a game of snooker, just for the company—but the advice will be there if they need it. All relevant services in Fife’s Health and Social Care and Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships are on board, as well as local politicians.

“The Corra funding helps ensure our team are there for people in Fife to drop in for advice and services for the next four years. This will reduce the devastation of drug deaths in our communities significantly. But we can’t be complacent—there’s plenty of work to be done and we’re a small team. Anyone who can help us through volunteering should contact me.”

FASS operates drop-in services for drugs and alcohol all over Fife and urges everyone to become more educated on the changes. There's no need for an appointment and the team can provide, or signpost to, specialist support if needed. For further information on their support, drop-in services or counselling please visit out website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. To contact Dave or with general enquiries people should call 01592 206200 or e-mail enquiries@fassaction.org.uk

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