Updated strategy to continue drug and alcohol treatment success
A refreshed version of a strategy that has transformed and modernised the treatment of drug and alcohol dependency is set to be approved by Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet.
The Telford & Wrekin Drug and Alcohol Strategy assesses local gaps and identifies what still needs to be done.
The original document was approved by cabinet in March 2014 and the refreshed 2019-2023 version will be debated by cabinet on June 13.
It combines insights from service users, partner engagement, local intelligence and national best practice guidance to reframe the strategy’s objectives.
It also recognizes the strong links to other relevant local strategies such as the Serious Violence Strategy, Domestic Abuse Strategy and Belonging and Homelessness Strategies.
The key priorities of the proposed refreshed strategy are:
• Targeting alcohol consumption advice to the most vulnerable people
• Improving drug misuse treatment and recovery outcomes
• Developing more intensive support for children and young people affected by substance misuse
Councillor Andy Burford, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Health and Social Care, said: “The harms caused by drug and alcohol misuse to individuals and in families and our local communities are far reaching and well recognised.
“The costs of substance misuse to society in terms of the impact on crime and the police and NHS and social care are significant.
“However prevention work and restricting acess to drugs and alcohol can stop the escalation of substance misuse.
“Recovery is much wider than just being free from dependence on drugs and alcohol. It is about having a safe place to live, a job friends and a place in society.”
Since the original strategy was approved, the ambitious programme of work undertaken in the past five years has won a series of awards.
Councillor Burford added: “Our treatment and recovery services have been transformed and modernized, local performance outcomes have improved and at the same time significant cost efficiencies have been delivered.
“We now have an inspirational recovery community, led by volunteers and experts with lived experience.
“Local prevention programmes have also been enhanced, both in schools and in terms of advice given to adults and a significant training programme delivered.”
Key achievements include:
• Through the Crucial Crew schools keep safe roadshow, drug and alcohol awareness has been delivered to more than 2,000 10-11 year olds every year
• Loudmouth Theatre In Education has performed drug and alcohol awareness sessions to more than 1,000 12-13 year olds every year
• Social media reach gas been vastly expanded – the alcohol and road safety campaign last year reached nearly 7,000 people
• Brief alcohol interventions have been delivered to more than 2,000 people every year
• Substance misuse training and awareness raising has been delivered to on average 350 practitioners a year
• A Drug Related Death Review has been established and more than 30 lives potentially saved by making Naxolone – an overdose reversal drug- widely available
• The strategy’s community-based, peer-led recovery support offer has been significantly expanded through organisations like TACT, Recharge and A Better Tomorrow – achieving one of the highest levels of mutual aid support in the West Midlands
• Successful and inspirational annual Recovery Conferences have been held in each of the five years, with approximately 170 attendees each time
• Telford STARS has been co-located with probation services in Priorslee with 54 per cent of people successfully completing alcohol treatment in March 2019 – compared with 32 per cent five years ago – one of the best outcomes in the country