Digital Health Interventions in Addiction Services

Digital Health Interventions in Addiction Services


We conduct research around the development and implementation of innovative digital solutions to meet the needs of people facing addiction. We do this by creating a network of shared knowledge and we are committed to a design philosophy based on person centredness, visual and inclusive communication, collaboration, co-creation and continuous improvement.
Current projects are:


DigitAS: OLE

Increasing Engagement of Opioid Users in Treatment through Online Consultations

For people who use drugs (PWUD), engagement in treatment not only increases the chances of recovery but also decreases the chances of drug-related death and all-cause mortality.

The OLE project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Digital Lifelines initiative and will run in 2022-23.

The general aim of this project is to increase treatment coverage and engagement with treatment of people with substance abuse disorders in Scotland, especially those at high risk of overdose. We are doing this by:

  1. Finding evidence for the core elements of digital interventions that enhance the therapeutic relationship.
  2. Proposing and adapting a tool to measure the improvements that the introduction of those core elements of digital interventions bring to the therapeutic relationship once implemented.
  3. Proposing and piloting improvements to the Near Me platform as well as a package of features/addons that could be added to Near Me to improve the therapeutic relationship and, consequently, engage more people in treatment.



A year long project to develop collaborative good practice guidelines for delivering Telemedicine mediated Medication Assisted Treatment (TMAT) for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) via telemedicine funded by Scottish Drug Deaths Task Force. We recently ran a well-received and attended international webinar on the implementation of MAT for OUD in Canada, the USA, Scotland and England. The recordings for which can be found on our website.



The Overdose Detection and Responder Alert Technologies (ODART) project is aimed at developing technological solutions to reduce drug overdoses. It is carried out in partnership with the University of Stirling  and is supported by the Digital and Technology group of the Drugs Research Network for Scotland (DRNS). This project was launched in February 2021 and will deliver on four main workstreams:

  1. Early technology-assisted detection of a potential overdose with automated first responder alert
  2. An application that witnesses of an overdose can use to alert first responders
  3. Community provision of naloxone through publicly available kits, which are connected to services record activity
  4. Development of remote addiction consultations through digital applications

We have completed the first phase of the project with an internal report on workstreams 1 and 2 for the Scottish Government, a summary of which you can find here. We have also conducted a systematic state-of-the-art review of the literature that we hope will be published soon. 



The Digital Addictions Services (DADE) project funded by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) aims to produce a practical, treatment focussed typology of digital health interventions for drug addiction as well as systematic and rapid reviews to support evidence for these interventions.