DDN Magazine July/August 2021 - Page 4


Services now ‘ on their knees ’, says Carol Black

' Insufficient support to peer workers who are so crucial to the recovery process .'

Funding cuts have left treatment and recovery services ‘ on their knees ’, commissioning has ‘ become fragmented with little accountability for outcomes ’ and partnerships between local authorities and health and criminal justice agencies have deteriorated across the country , Professor Dame Carol Black told the Westminster Social Policy Forum ’ s Tackling drug addiction and substance misuse event . The workforce , meanwhile , was ‘ depleted and demoralised ’, with a falling number of professionally qualified people and ‘ insufficient support to peer workers who are so crucial to the recovery process ’.

Part two of her Independent review of drugs remained unpublished as DDN went to press , but according to the BBC is likely to recommend a more health-based approach and a more significant role for DHSC . ‘ I cannot of course give you the exact

Three quarters back gambling ad curbs

MORE THAN THREE QUARTERS OF ADULTS and two thirds of 11 to 17-year-olds back a ban on gambling adverts on TV and radio before 9pm , according to a YouGov survey of almost 12,500 people .
More than 60 per cent of adult respondents and 53 per cent of younger people also said they would back a complete ban on advertising for gambling products , and three quarters of adults supported a requirement for the industry to pay a levy to finance efforts to tackle problem gambling .
The Royal Society of Public Health ( RSPH ) is calling on the government to tighten gambling ad regulations as part of the Department for Digital , Culture , Media and Sport ’ s ongoing review of the Gambling Act . There have long been calls for a compulsory tax on the industry to fund support for people with gambling issues ( DDN , June 2019 , page 5 ), while last year the regulatory bodies overseeing the industry were branded ‘ complacent and weak ’ by a parliamentary committee ( DDN , July / August 2020 , page 4 ).
‘ We no longer allow air time to other products which harm our health , like tobacco products ,’ said RSPH chief executive Christina Marriott . ‘ Gambling should be no different .’ recommendations but I can address the areas I ’ m going to be focusing on ,’ she told the seminar . Inpatient detox , residential rehabilitation , specialist services for young people and treatment for cannabis and stimulant users had been particularly hard hit , she stated . ‘ I ’ ve said in the report that the current situation is intolerable and that significant changes need to be made in four big areas ’.
These were radical reform of funding , commissioning and leadership ; rebuilding of services and developing integrated systems of care and support ; increased focus on prevention and early intervention , and improvements to research and science . Part two of her report offered concrete proposals , she said – ‘ I hope many of them deliverable in this parliament .
‘ This government must strengthen its national leadership of work to tackle drug misuse ’ and hold departments to account ,

New page

WDP HAS TEAMED UP with literacy charity the Shannon Trust in a pilot project to train staff , peer mentors and volunteers to provide its phonics-led Turning Pages programme across a range of services , focusing on supportive oneto-one sessions provided by peers . Shannon Trust has already successfully rolled out the programme in prisons across the country .
‘ We know that reading is a vital skill , and when people learn it can make a huge difference to their lives ,’ said the trust ’ s CEO , Ian Merrill . ‘ They ’ re able to complete the everyday tasks that many of us take for granted , such as managing bills or accessing the internet . And for those with drug and alcohol problems , these achievements can be important building blocks in recovery .’
Literacy skills can lead to ‘ a greater participation in work , family life , and directly improve health ’, added WDP chair Yasmin Batliwala . Developing these skills enabled people to ‘ feel part of an increasingly digital , social-media world , rather than be automatically excluded ’, she said .
she stated . Also essential was an increase in funding to provide an effective treatment and recovery system . ‘ Funding at this time is of course difficult but we ’ ve been doing everything we can to ensure the Treasury understands that it would be money well spent with a substantial and early return on investment .’ Clinical services were ‘ only part of the story ’, she added . ‘ We need a strong recovery community , trauma-informed services , and good mental health services .’ Good housing and employment opportunities were also ‘ absolutely part of the treatment package ,’ she said . ‘ We also need to acknowledges that drug dependency deserves parity with other conditions such as diabetes . I would go so far as saying that trauma-informed care is woefully lacking , and if you can ’ t provide that then it ’ s very , very difficult for people to come off the drugs they ’ re taking .’ See feature , page 8
' Literacy skills enable people to feel part of an increasingly digital , social-media world .'