Alcohol and drugs prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest?

A new resource by Public Health England (PHE) poses this question, to support local commissioners, providers and healthcare professionals to make the case for investing in drug and alcohol treatment and interventions. 

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Source: Public Health England

They have produced a set of 32 slides, like the example above which can be downloaded and shared in presentations.

All the Why invest? slides are available from PHE to download here 

There is more guidance on PHE’s website

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Substance misuse services

This briefing looks at the quality and safety of clinics offering residential services for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol | Care Quality Commission (CQC)

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The Care Quality Commission has published Substance misuse services: the quality and safety of residential detoxification. This briefing examines the quality and safety of clinics offering residential services for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.  It outlines concerns identified during CQC inspections and gives an example of good practice, as well as actions and recommendations.

The briefing reported a number of concerns. Many of the clinics were not:

  • assessing the risks to the safety of people prior to their admission following recognised national clinical guidance on treating people who are withdrawing from alcohol or drugs
  • storing, dispensing and handling medicines
  • appropriately carrying out full employment checks or sufficiently training their staff

The CQC also found that nearly three in four providers failed in at least one of the fundamental standards of care that everyone has the right to expect, whilst almost two-thirds of providers were not meeting the requirement for providing safe care and treatment.

Full briefing: Substance misuse services: the quality and safety of residential detoxification

 

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England

This report contains results from a survey of secondary school pupils in England in years 7 to 11. 12,051 pupils in 177 schools completed questionnaires in the autumn term of 2016. | NHS Digital

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This survey report presents information on the percentage of pupils who have ever smoked, tried alcohol or taken drugs and their attitudes towards these behaviours.  It also includes breakdowns by age, gender, ethnicity and region.

Other areas covered include the use of new psychoactive substances (also known as legal highs), beliefs about drinking, whether pupils had ever got drunk and consequences of drinking. Questions on the use of nitrous oxide have also been asked for the first time.

Key Facts

In 2016

  • 19 per cent of 11-15 year old pupils had ever smoked, which is similar to 2014
  • 44 per cent of pupils had ever drunk alcohol
  • 24 per cent of pupils reported they had ever taken drugs. This compares to 15 per cent in 2014. Part of the increase since 2014 may be explained by the addition of questions on nitrous oxide and new psychoactive substances. After allowing for this however, it still represents a large increase. Therefore an estimate from the next survey in 2018 is required before we can be confident that these survey results reflect a genuine trend in the wider population. In the meantime the results for drug taking from this survey should be treated with caution.
  • 3 per cent of pupils were regular smokers, 10 per cent had drunk alcohol in the last week and 10 per cent had taken drugs in the last month.

Full report: Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England – 2016: Report

How alcohol and drug treatment helps to reduce crime

Report re-affirms how important drug treatment is in cutting crime, as well as preventing alcohol and drug-related deaths and helping people recover from dependence. | Ministry of Justice | Public Health England

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In England, almost 300,000 adults get help for drug and alcohol dependency each year. Most people receiving drug treatment are addicted to heroin or crack cocaine, or both, and many commit crimes to fund their addiction.

New analysis published last week by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has added to the evidence of how alcohol and drug treatment can help to prevent crime.

The analysis revealed that:

  • In 2012, nearly 133,000 people started treatment for drugs and alcohol, 35% of which had a criminal conviction recorded against them in the two years previous
  • Overall 44% of people in treatment hadn’t offended again two years after starting treatment
  • The number of recorded offences by people in treatment fell by a third over the two years, from 129,000 to 86,500
  • People who had been in prison before starting treatment, and those who dropped out and came back to treatment, were more likely to reoffend
  • People who successfully completed their treatment, or were still in treatment at the end of the two years, were less likely to reoffend

Full story at Public Health England

Full report: The impact of community-based drug and alcohol treatment on re-offending

The Role of Nurses in Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services

Guidance for commissioners, providers and clinicians on the roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England. | Public Health England

This resource describes the many potential roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England to help commissioners and providers of specialist adult alcohol and drug treatment services to recruit the right workforce to meet local needs.

The document outlines:

  • The roles of nurses working in alcohol and drug treatment including the contribution they can make to health and social care outcomes
  • The added value nurses can bring to alcohol and drug treatment
  • The competences and skills that should be expected of nurses working in alcohol and drug treatment
  • What is required to develop and maintain these competences

Full document: The Role of Nurses in Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services:  A resource for commissioners, providers and clinicians

Alcohol, drugs and tobacco: commissioning support pack

Annually updated alcohol, drugs and tobacco commissioning support pack for local authorities | Public Health England

This commissioning support pack will help local authorities to develop joint strategic needs assessment and local joint health and wellbeing strategies which effectively address public health issues relating to alcohol, drug and tobacco use.

The pack covers 4 topics, which are:

  • planning alcohol harm prevention, treatment and recovery in adults
  • planning drugs prevention, treatment and recovery in adults
  • planning comprehensive interventions for young people
  • planning comprehensive local tobacco control interventions

For each of these topics, there are:

  • a set of good practice principles and indicators to help local areas assess need and plan and commission effective services and interventions
  • bespoke data for each local area to help them commission effective services and interventions

Documents available via Public Health England

New resource to reduce alcohol stigma

New e-learning programme  developed for NHS healthcare professionals to reduce the stigma faced by patients with alcohol problems.

A package of training materials, including facilitator’s notes, are included in a new e-learning programme, which aims to help health professionals to have a better understanding of alcohol dependency and to improve longer-term outcomes for patients.

The resources will be of interest to health and social care staff who come in to contact with patients with alcohol problems in either: hospital, primary care or community settings.

A new film also complements the e-learning package and uses emotional and thought-provoking real stories voiced by patients to highlight the problems they face.

Access the free Alcohol Stigma e-learning programme here.