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What is Independent Advocacy

Individual Advocacy

Drugs & Alcohol

We provide Individual Advocacy for people 

  • living in East Lothian or Midlothian, either in the community or in a hospital
  • aged between 18-65
  • who need support to have their voice heard because of drug or alcohol use

If you would like to speak to one of our advocacy workers, please get in touch:

phone: 0131 273 5118
or email: 

What is individual advocacy?

If you are affected by drug or alcohol use you may want someone by your side to help you get your voice heard.

The Scottish Government’s MAT Standards say that anyone receiving medically assisted treatment for drug or alcohol use can access independent advocacy.

Sometimes it can feel hard to speak up or explain everything you want to say.

It can be hard to take in lots of complicated information in meetings. You may feel overwhelmed, rushed or not listened to.

Independent advocacy can help. Our advocacy workers can support you to:

  • Prepare for and attend meetings
  • Have your say
  • Get information you need to help you make your own choices and understand your options

People who used this service told us:

“I don’t know what I’d have done without [my advocacy worker] – he makes sure I’m up to speed and that I understand things.”

“I greatly appreciate all the help CAPS has given me. I have been listened to. People have taken action on what I want.”

“Because of [my advocacy worker’s] help people are listening and taking account of what I say to them.”

“I feel more confident when I have someone with me, and it’s much better.”

“[My advocacy worker’s] support gave me the confidence to make phone calls for myself. It made me feel heard. I have benefitted so much, and it got me a foot in the door.”

“CAPS made sure that I didn’t miss anything. They were a great help to me.”

What can we help with?

We can help you to have your voice heard in all sorts of issues relating to your drug or alcohol use. Examples of common things people come to us for assistance with are:

  • Speaking to your doctor
  • Support to ask for drug or alcohol treatment services if you wish to
  • Benefits Assessments
  • Social Work meetings
  • Getting advice when you need it e.g. Citizen’s Advice or solicitor

We can’t give you advice or legal representation on your situation ourselves or act as counsellors or befrienders. We are there to help you explain your point of view and what you want to happen so we will never tell you what to do or take anyone else’s side except yours.

How does CAPS work?

We are independent of all other services such as health, the council and the voluntary sector.

This means we are there just to be on your side.

Our service is free of charge and provided by trained advocacy workers.

We will not pass on anything you tell us without your permission, unless you or someone else is at risk of harm.

If you would like to speak to one of our advocacy workers, please get in touch:

phone: 0131 273 5118


More information

Please see: Individual Advocacy Leaflet (updated April 2024)

Working with Individual Advocacy Working with Individual Advocacy Leaflet (updated October 2021)

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