SMMGP - Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Supporting good practice in drug and alcohol treatment

Clinical & Policy Updates:
SMMGP Policy Update November 2007

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Adobe Acrobat DocumentDownload the PDF version of this Update here! (PDF*, 42K)


New Drug Strategy Consultation Feedback

SMMGP were invited to a preview of the direction of travel for the new drug strategy following the recent consultation. Here we present the details to members. If anyone has any burning comments to make we would be happy to submit them to the government, comments will still be considered from stakeholders until January.

The key messages from the consultation were:

Priorities should be:

3 packages of action were proposed:

In terms of treatment:

We raised a concern that the "wider use of new treatment approaches" should be allied with caution regarding non or poorly evidenced treatments and should avoid implying that present treatments do not work.

In terms of young people and families:

The aims as ever are to reduce usage, with a focus on preventing the associated school failure, crime and disorder, poor mental health and developmental risks. Also a specific emphasis is to be pit on protecting children of drug using parents. Young people and families most at risk will be focussed upon. The proposed package will include:

The prevention agenda is to be mainstreamed with clear lead roles for directors of childrens' services who will include substance misuse in their strategies. These strategies will include:

FRANK is to continue.

In terms of supply:


For a thoroughly thought out response to the consultation see the ACMD's response on

It was quite critical calling it "self congratulatory and generally disappointing" as well as saying it concentrated too hard on "trying to convince the reader on success and progress". However they did agree with the general aims and many of their concerns seem to have been addressed in the present form of the strategy outlined above.

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Another interesting research report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation explores the use of "street policing" of drug users and finds a high level of contact between officers and street dug users. Whilst this sometimes perceived as a threat by drug users and can lead to displacement, the contact is usually informal and does not prioritise making arrests for class A drug possession. An interesting conclusion is that this is an under utilised resource in terms of getting information to street dug users about services, in particular treatment services. Read the report summary on The full report will be published online in 2008.

For a round up of all the major issues explored at this years International Harm Reduction Conference read this interesting report written by a delegation of users who attended it on behalf of the NTA and have reported back on it from an English user perspective in a report entitled Nothing About us Without us at

For members who want to increase their knowledge on alcohol this conference still has places and we would recommend it looking at the programme, if you can make it at short notice. Alcohol Treatment Effectiveness: are we providing treatments which have an evidence base and if not, why not? Village Hotel, Bury, 11 December 2007. Contact, tel 0161 772 3782. Workshops on relapse prevention; detoxification; dual diagnosis & psychological interventions/ITEP.