Managed Alcohol Programme

Simon Community Scotland introduced Scotland’s first Managed Alcohol Programme (MAP) in 2021. Our ten bedroom, trauma informed service’s objective is to support men who are experiencing homelessness and are alcohol dependent, men who have experienced various attempts at other treatments and do not wish to stop drinking.

Our evidence-based Harm Reduction approach has given the people that we support the opportunity to;

  • live in a place that they call home
  • control their alcohol intake through an agreed alcohol plan with support from our team
  • engage with a range of primary care services that improves health and wellbeing
  • eat on a regular basis
  • participate  in a range of activities including music tuition and digital inclusion
  • reconnect with family and friends

All in a place where they feel safe.

The service has been designed to a very high level that ensures the men live in a comfortable and stress -free environment.  The MAP service offers a creative and innovative way of helping them to drink less harmful and hazardous amounts of alcohol, while engaging with primary care services looking after their health needs.

BBC Scotland produced this feature on MAP in February 2023. 

Karyn McCluskey, the head of Community Justice Scotland, was behind piloting the Canadian model here.

She analysed the cost to emergency services of these men street-drinking before they entered the project and believes the cost of not having the MAP would run into “millions” of pounds.

“One of the men that I looked at had been taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary by ambulance over 400 times in a period of two and a bit years,” she tells the BBC.

“That is extortionate. I mean serious amounts of money. Probably millions.”

Peter Mclachlan, Service Lead for MAP, wrote this blog for Scottish Health Action On Alcohol Problems