Phase 2 of Professor Dame Carol Black’s Independent Review of Drugs set out 32 clearly defined and comprehensive recommendations for a whole-system renewal of the drug treatment and recovery sector. Shortly after the publication of her review, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the latest statistics for deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales. Sadly, these statistics highlighted the urgent need for Black’s recommendations, given that 4,561 men and women died from drug poisoning in 2020, a 3.8% increase from the previous year and a 60% increase since the beginning of this decade.
As an alliance of NHS addictions trusts, we have a responsibility and a duty to advocate for the implementation of the comprehensive and clearly defined recommendations set out in Black’s review, in order to help even more vulnerable people to enter treatment and save thousands of lives.
This cannot be done alone. The transformational change that is so desperately needed in England requires collective action. We must draw from the diversity of voices and experience throughout our field, and work in partnership, not in silos.
That is why we stand with Adfam, Collective Voice, the College of Lived Experience Organisations and the English Substance Use Commissioners Group with a shared and urgent mission for political action and improvement in the sector.
Read our joint statement published in DDN magazine (pg 22).
We look forward to sharing a snapshot of our collaborative approach at this year’s NHS APA virtual conference on the 13th of October.