Posts in opinion
Hiding in Plain Sight: Understanding Alcohol Abuse, Addiction and Dependency

Alcohol-related illness creates a huge cost for the NHS and causes considerable harm not only to the those who are drinking, but also to their family and friends. However, among many, perceptions around the ‘normal’ intake of alcohol are far from the recommended maximum units and there is little understanding of the phrases used to explain alcohol-related illnesses.

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Spice: The Ongoing Public Health Emergency

Referred to by one English Police and Crime Commissioner as “the most severe public health issue we have faced in decades”, Spice is one of a group of synthetic cannabinoids whose notoriety is growing by the day.

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Don’t underestimate the role of childhood experiences in the development of substance use issues.

Today is World Mental Health Awareness Day and, this year, the focus is on children and young people’s mental health. According to the World Health Organisation, half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, and, unsurprisingly, the “harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue”. 

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Conference 2018 slides

View the presentation slides from our 2018 conference on the theme of creating lasting behaviour change, including slides from: Dr Henrietta Bowden Jones, Danny Hames, Dr Luke Mitcheson, Dr Dima Abdulrahim, Viv Evans OBE and Rob Eyers.

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On publication of ONS’ data showing drug-poisoning-related deaths in England and Wales highest in 24 years of study, NHS SMPA’s Emily Finch talked to BBC Radio 4 about the challenges facing services.

“The first thing we have to remember is that every death represents a huge loss for a family, loss of a son or daughter, parent or sibling, so this is really affecting people.”

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Commissioners and Providers must work together to find innovative solutions: Richard Roberts on key points from #EXCO2018.

The needs of long-term heroin users are increasingly complex. Additionally, trends showing a rise in the prevalence of crack, the use of new Psychoactive Substances (NPS) (particularly in the prison and homelessness populations), and the threat of Fentanyl provide significant challenges for commissioners. It is crucial that in future, commissioners procure services that are able to respond effectively.

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How can we provide strong, effective and relevant services to crack cocaine users?

Leaving aside the debates in the media regarding Police numbers and budgets, I was drawn to growing concerns regarding the prevalence and purity of crack cocaine in UK markets, and consequently its link to increasing levels of serious violence across the country.

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Market Failure and the Funding Crisis in Substance Misuse Treatment: NHS SMPA’s Dr David Manley comments on key points made at InterAction 2018

While cuts are reportedly at 30%, they are as high as 45% in some local areas. This has led to diminishing support for people with complex multiple needs associated with their substance use, and a shift from systemic (integrated) provision to simple service provision in many areas of the UK.

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Justifying The Effectiveness and Quality of Substance Misuse Services Has Never Been More Necessary.

There is currently a very prominent debate regarding the reduction in funding for substance misuse services and rightly so. The emphasis on ensuring we are competent and thoughtful guardians of funding, and that we properly benefit service users has never been more important.

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