SAS Expands Drug-related Emergency Initiative After Successful Pilot

An initiative to encourage young people to call 999 in a drug-related emergency is being expanded following a successful pilot, the Scottish Ambulance Service has announced.

The TRUST initiative - Take it Seriously, Ring 999, Use first aid skills, Stay with them, Tell us what they’ve taken - aims to educate and support young people who may avoid or delay phoning for an ambulance when they or their friends experience a drug-related emergency due to perceived fear of repercussions. It also covers what an emergency situation may look like and what to look out for.

Following the successful pilot in some Fife and Glasgow secondary schools, SAS will be expanding the campaign across Scotland where TRUST resources will be embedded into local drug education offerings, providing young people with the chance to also hear first-hand from emergency staff about their roles.

Kira Watson, Clinical Effectiveness Lead for Drug Harm Reduction – East, said: “The TRUST initiative has been designed to show young people that the Scottish Ambulance Service is here to help them.

“As summer holidays and festival season continue, drug related incidents increase, and we want to make sure young people aren’t afraid to quickly seek help when they or their friends need it. Once they have received treatment, we can also make the appropriate referrals for on-going support, information and advice.”

Christina McKelvie, Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy, said: “I welcome the expansion of the TRUST initiative, which can save lives by supporting and educating young people involved in a drugs emergency.

“Through our £250 million National Mission on drugs, we are taking a wide range of measures to reduce harm and save lives - including supporting the opening of a Safe Drug Consumption Facility pilot, widening access to Naloxone and delivering drug-checking facilities which will enable us to respond faster to emerging drug trends.”

If you think TRUST would be of benefit to your local school or community space, email for more information.

TRUST Campaign leaflet and poster are available for download here.

Posted on 10/07/2024