Home Office have published the new Drugs Strategy, which sets out how the Government and its partners, at local, national and international levels, will take new action to tackle drug misuse and the harm it causes. Drug misuse is common among people with mental health conditions: research indicates that up to 70% of people in community substance misuse treatment also experience mental ill-health and there is a high prevalence of drug use among those with severe and enduring conditions such as schizophrenia and personality disorders. The Strategy makes clear that the Government will take a balanced approach to reducing harms caused by drugs, such as mental ill-health, by acting at the earliest opportunity to prevent people from starting to use drugs in the first place and prevent escalation to more harmful use, as well as providing evidence-based treatment options that can be tailored to individual need, to provide people with the best chance of recovery.
The Association’s Chief Executive, Kathy Roberts, has commented:
“We welcome the inclusion of mental health as a key theme in the new Strategy and are pleased to see that the strong link between substance misuse and mental ill-health is recognised. As the research has indicated, up to 70% of people in community substance misuse treatment also experience mental ill-health, and so we welcome the initial step of appointing a new National Recovery Champion to ensure adequate housing, employment and mental health services are available to help people turn their lives around. Collaboration between all agencies and the voluntary and community sector is essential especially in local communities to ensure the best possible treatment and support are available for those with a dual-diagnosis and complex needs.”
Read the full 2017 Drug Strategy here.