A minister toured a residential rehab centre in Erskine to meet with frontline staff and people recovering from addiction.

Christina McKelvie, the drugs and alcohol policy minister, paid Abbeycare a visit on April 30 to hear about its drug and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation services.

Her visit featured discussions about addiction experiences and the journey to recovery with current Abbeycare residents and aftercare group members.

Paul Bowley, chief executive of Abbeycare, said: "We were incredibly pleased to welcome the minister to our centre in Erskine to discuss the work we do to support people in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions.

The Gazette: (L-R) Billy Henderson, service engagement manager at Abbeycare, Marie McGuire, therapeutic lead at

"This was an opportunity for her to hear first-hand from the people we treat about the life-changing impact that abstinence-based rehab and detox services can have.

"We believe that residential rehab has a key role to play in reducing the number of people dying in Scotland due to drugs and alcohol misuse, alongside other specialist crisis and stabilisation services."

Staff members shared their recovery stories with the minister, many of whom were once in rehab.

The centre at Erskine Mains House provides comprehensive care for individuals battling drug and alcohol addictions.

Its programmes also include harm reduction interventions, counselling, recovery care planning, family support and aftercare services to help people address the issues behind their addictions.

Abbeycare welcomes admissions from across Scotland, including private patients and local authority referrals.

The Gazette: (L-R) Christina McKelvie with two of Abeycare’s current clients

Ms McKelvie said: "I was pleased to get the chance to hear first-hand about people's recovery journeys and Abbeycare's work with those with problematic substance and alcohol use.

"This is supported by increased Scottish Government funding for residential rehabilitation placements via alcohol and drug partnerships.

"As part of our £250 million national mission on drugs, we're taking a wide range of measures and improving access to residential rehab is a key part of our mission to save and improve lives.

“According to a recent Public Health Scotland report, the upward trend in placements suggests that the Scottish Government is on track to hit its target of 1,000 people publicly funded to go to rehab by 2026.”