Much of the progress achieved previously in drug and alcohol treatment has been lost through successive disinvestment in services, competitive tendering, and years of austerity. There is an emerging ‘Quality Gap’ between drug treatments and interventions known to be effective and everyday practice in drug services. There are new patterns of drug use, and increasing availability of drugs on-line. Glaring health inequalities and prospects of a premature death exist for people using drugs and alcohol. Covid-19 has reshaped the ways in which many of us live and work.
The demise of Public Health England leaves open future arrangements for health improvement programmes, and the delivery of both drug and alcohol treatment services. Now is the time to re-think the design, delivery and commissioning of drug and alcohol services, to maximise health and social gain for individuals and to ‘level-up’ communities.
We want to be at the forefront of change. Based on our assessment of where drug and alcohol services are struggling and possible solutions for change, we have identified 12 directives for future commissioning and provision. We have a wonderful opportunity here at this conference with over 500 delegates to ask for your ideas.