Road Map To Recovery! Good Or Bad

Changes in government drug treatment policy and how it can effect you.

Drug Use The NTA (National Treatment Agency) are a long standing organisation who have helped there clients recover from the chaotic aspects of drug addictions. They published the orange guidelines which are renowned as being the best advisory booklet for drug use councillors, when helping there clients. It is regarded as a model of best practice and used like a bible when assisting in drug treatment. They were focused on ensuring long term treatment for there clients, ensuring harm reduction and reducing the time in which clients had to wait to access treatment. they worked closely with the RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) giving advice and support when dealing with drug related issues. And on the whole they provided a very useful function in controlling drug treatment in the UK. In 2013 as part of the Tory manifesto there are plans to dissolve the NTA and replace it with a new policy group known as the 'Public Health England'. This Change in government policy will massively effect the treatment of thous who are dependent of drugs, long term. It will also effect the way in which drug users are dealt with when coming into treatment, and is likely to be allied with the unemployment and housing benefit policies. The following mantra was abstracted from the 'Public Health England' Guidelines released early 2012. "Reducing Demand, Restricting Supply, Building Recovery". Which all sound very noble, but many people would argue that these goals are totally unrealistic and are not evidence based and for that matter unobtainable. Reducing Demand! Reducing the demand of self medicating, opiate or physic active drugs has never been achieved in the history of humanity. As a people we have been using drugs for over 3000 years, and as populations grow so to dose the demand for drugs. The complexities of society in which drug use is as a problem is vast. The idea of reducing drug supply has never worked. With a growing global economy where goods are shipped very quickly around the world in bulk, the UK boarders agency can only prevent a small percentage of illicit substance entering the UK. At best this policy could increase the cost and decrease the quality of drug in the UK, but could never completely stop all imports of drugs into the country. Restricting Supply! Equally restricting supply has never been achieved. Often attempts to restrict supply of drug has resulted in more arrest and imprisonment of small time user/dealers, and the increasing number of arrests of urban youngsters who see drug dealing as a valid way of earning money they desperately need, thus stopping any chance of them re-entering into the jobs market. Also the legal high market has always offset an decrease in illegal drug supplies. Also restricting drug supply leads users to consume more over the counter or prescription medication, which is counter productive for the user and can often lead to more health issues. Building Recovery! Recovery is a goal that is often very different for each individual. In the past under the NTA'S Orange guidelines, recovery described a whole range of individual interventions, including substitute medication prescribed for as long as the client required, dealing with a therapeutic input to help clients manage trauma or emotional issues, and counseling/ talking through issues etc. But with the ending of NTA in 2013 and with the creation of the 'Public Health England' the focus has changed. The emphasis has changed from a system that used to help people throughout the recovery process, (which could be the rest of there lives) to a system witch is focused on enforced detoxification, and limiting the amount of time people are given to deal with there drug dependence. The ultimate goal will be to enforce abstinence on drug users. Conclusion! It seems that the introduction of Public Health England, will in fact cause more problems instead of solving problems that already exist. It is a simplistic view which is not evidence based. It will force more people off prescription drugs as there time in treatment is decreased and ultimately lead to more drug overdoses and the destabilisation of more family lives. It will also lead to the increase in prison population and force stable individuals who are currently in treatment back to the street. It seems to me that this change in government policy is part of the puritanical moral backlash sweeping though much of the western world. Failing to admit that the so called War on Drug is an impossible ideology. If you would like to read the 'Public Helth England' Mission statement yourself and make your own opinions follow the link below. blank">http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/alcohol-drugs/drugs/recovery-roadmap

One Comment

  1. Posted 28th September 2012 at 22:18 | Permalink

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