March 2017 DDN March 2017 DDN Magazine - Page 8

When

The TenTh naTional Service USer conference

Life and death issues

Drug-related deaths also dominated the day ’ s Big Debate session , which gave delegates the chance to put their views across

The majority of people who die are out of treatment .

alex BoyT

SoundbiteS

‘ People are dying , and people are ill , and it ’ s not OK .’
Dee Cunniffe
‘ You have voices . You ’ re at risk . Your friends and family have died . These stories need to be heard – this has to be in the mix .’
Paul Hayes

‘ people talk about drug-related deaths it ’ s about numbers and systems ,’ service user rights advocate Alex Boyt told the conference . ‘ What we need to do is humanise it . I could have been a drugrelated death , quite easily .’

‘ How many people do I know who ’ ve
‘ Commissioners sit in a town hall and it ’ s very easy to cut things when you ’ re not involved . I think it ’ s crucial that they
understand where the money ’ s going , who it ’ s for , and that they get some expert-by-experience knowledge .’
Becca , BoB volunteer
‘ Naloxone isn ’ t a cure-all . It ’ s just an excellent tool to have , alongside calling an

‘ I ask myself , if I went into treat - ment now , “ would it work ?” I don ’ t think it would .’

TIm Sampey
died ?’ said CEO of Build on Belief ( BoB ), Tim Sampey . ‘ There are so many that I can ’ t remember all the names and faces . Drug-related deaths isn ’ t just about heroin – it ’ s a much , much bigger subject , and we need to be thinking much bigger .
‘ What are the things that kill us ?’ he asked delegates . ‘ One is isolation . We need to be around other people – we ’ re tribal creatures .’ Another killer was undoubtedly stigmatisation , he said . ‘ We ’ re the most stigmatised group in the country . Everybody hates us , and nobody cares . Everyone you speak to –
ambulance , CPR and other things .’
Lee Collingham
‘ The majority of people don ’ t have real discussions with their doctor about methadone or buprenorphine now , so what will it be like in a few years when there are something like nine different options available ?’
Stephen Malloy
‘ You get people arriving in services who are broken , tired , fed up , and then they ’ re given a whole new set of recovery challenges . There ’ s something about the nature of
who isn ’ t one of us – thinks we ’ ve brought it on ourselves .’
The majority of people who died were out of treatment , Alex Boyt reminded delegates . ‘ It ’ s great that people are having their ambitions realised in treatment , but you get people arriving in services who are broken , tired , fed up , and then they ’ re given a whole new set of recovery challenges . There ’ s something about the nature of services that is not holding and looking after people .’
‘ I ask myself , if I went into treatment now , would it work ?’ I don ’ t think it would ,’ agreed Sampey . ‘ When I went into treatment in 2004 I had piles and piles of support , and it was the community of the drop-in that saved my neck . It ’ s my grave fear that that ’ s what ’ s disappearing . For me , recovery is free dom from dependence and getting a life . It ’ s not about abstinence or rules or regulations .’
The main indicator of whether an intervention would be successful was the quality of the relationship between
services that is not holding and looking after people .’
Alex Boyt
‘ There ’ s nothing negative about service user involvement , but we can ’ t allow a situation where service users are running the projects
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