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Criminal Justice Drug Services

Arrest Referral

The Arrest Referral Service is a joint initiative between Grampian Police and Aberdeen City Social Work Department.  The aim is to reduce drug related offending and provides an opportunity for individuals aged 16+ who have been arrested for an offence related to drug use, to undergo an assessment in order to identify appropriate services to best meet their needs.

How do I get a referral ?

Referrals are made at the point of arrest by Grampian Police with the consent of the individual.

What happens next ?

You will undergo an assessment either within Queen Street Police Station (if you  are being held in custody) or at the Social Work Department.

With your consent referrals will be made to appropriate agencies relevant to your individual needs.

Services Offered

  • Assessment
  • Counselling and Support
  • Information
  • Referrals to NHS Grampian, Social Work Services and Voluntary Organisations

All referrals to this service are on a voluntary basis.

Criminal Justice/ Substance Misuse Service

This service is a joint initiative between NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council Criminal Justice Social Work Department.

It aims to work in partnership to reduce drug use and subsequent offending.  Social Workers and Substance Misuse Nurses work together to provide a holistic treatment programme for offenders who have been referred to Criminal Justice Social Work.  This includes alternative prescribing and counselling along with practical and emotional support.

How do I access this service?

You must be receiving a service via the Criminal Justice Social Work Department either on a voluntary or statutory basis.

You must discuss this with your social worker who will make the referral to the scheme after obtaining details of your drug use and other relevant information.

The service has a waiting list, therefore alternative prescribing is not always readily available. You will be prioritised according to your individual needs.

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders

A DTTO (Drug Treatment and Testing Order) is a statutory Order imposed either at the High Court or the Sheriff Court and is aimed at reducing/eliminating drug related offending.  It is a direct alternative to a custodial sentence and is closely monitored by the Courts.  The service is provided by Aberdeen City Social Work Department in partnership with NHS Grampian who provide a holistic treatment programme tailored to individual needs.

Who is it for?

  • You must have appeared in Court and have had a Social Enquiry Report requested by the Sheriff.
  • You have been involved in regular offending, which is directly related to the need to fund illegal drug use.
  • You must be motivated to undergo treatment and be willing to co-operate with an assessment process undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team, consisting of Social Workers, Addictions Workers and Substance Misuse Nurses.
  • You must also be willing to undergo observed drug testing.

Requirements of a DTTO

  • Regular drug testing
  • Monthly Reviews at Court
  • Compliance with an individual treatment programme
  • Attendance at the DTTO Project for appointments with Social Workers; Addictions Workers and Substance Misuse Nurses.
  • Attendance at Groupwork programmes

The Order can be for a duration of 6 months to 3 years and can be varied or amended dependant on progress.  Failure to comply with a DTTO can result in the imposition of a custodial sentence. 

Mandatory Drug Testing

Mandatory Drug Testing (MDT) is a pilot scheme currently being undertaken in Queen Street Police Station.  The scheme is run in partnership with Aberdeen City Council Social Work Department, Grampian Police and NHS Grampian.  The overall aim of the scheme is to reduce drug related offending.

Who will be tested?

Anyone aged 16 or over who has been arrested for any of the offences below and is resident in Aberdeen City will be required in line with legislation to undergo a drug test.  The drug test will test for the presence of cocaine and opiates.

The offences are:

  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Robbery 
  • Fraud
  • Reset  
  • Uttering a forged document
  • Embezzlement   
  • Attempt, Conspiracy or incitement to commit any of the above
  • Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 Sections 4 and 5

There may be other circumstances when a test is required but these will be at the discretion of a Senior Police Officer.

What happens next ?

If you test positive for opiates or cocaine, you will be required to undergo a drugs assessment, which will be carried out by Aberdeen City Council Social Work Department.  On completion of the assessment, you can request a referral to treatment services.

Possible Treatment Options:

  • Counselling and Support
  • Information
  • Referrals to NHS Grampian, Social Work Services and Voluntary Organisations
  • Short Term Interventions
  • Groupwork

Failure to comply with the drug test or failure to attend for assessment is an offence. Requests and compliance with treatment programmes is voluntary.

Back to the Criminal Justice Social Work Services home page.