What is RADAR?

Rapid Action Drug Alerts and Response (RADAR) is Scotland’s drugs early warning system.

Using innovative data collection and validation methods, RADAR assesses and validates information to:

  • allow for the rapid and targeted deployment of interventions
  • prevent and reduce the risk of drug-related harm

Find out more about the reporting form and how to get involved. 

Who is involved?

Public Health Scotland (PHS) coordinates the national programme.

We use a partnership approach to support local services, community members and public health teams, to ensure the system is relevant and meets the needs of the people and places it serves.

RADAR involves people and services from across the country and it is made up of three multi-agency groups:

  • The Development Group: formed of communication, data and intervention subgroups that support system design and development, including the creation of a communication and response toolkit.
  • The Network: a wide and inclusive group that collects and shares drug trends and data, helps to validate information and processes outputs and communications.
  • The Assessment Group: a specialist technical team that studies data, assesses potential threats and decides on action to reduce harm.

Optimising public health surveillance is a priority of the Drug Deaths Taskforce and is defined in the Scottish Government’s National Drugs Mission.


PHS have been working in collaboration with partners across the sector to establish RADAR and ensure it meets the needs of services and people in Scotland.

We are grateful for the development and assessment contributions from a range of key partners.

  • Aberdeen in Recovery
  • Crew 2000
  • Fife Alcohol and Drug Partnership
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Health Improvement Scotland
  • Highland Alcohol and Drug Partnership
  • Improvement Service
  • Inverclyde Alcohol and Drug Partnership
  • Moray Alcohol and Drug Partnership
  • NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • NHS Borders
  • NHS Education for Scotland
  • NHS Fife
  • NHS Grampian
  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • NHS Highland
  • NHS Lanarkshire
  • NHS Lothian
  • NHS Tayside
  • Patchwork Recovery Community
  • Police Scotland
  • REACH Advocacy Scotland
  • Scottish Ambulance Service
  • Scottish Borders Housing Association
  • Scottish Drugs Forum
  • Scottish Government
  • Scottish Prison Service
  • Scottish Recovery Consortium
  • South Lanarkshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Glasgow
  • We Are With You


Last updated: 10 October 2022