Layers of recovery from substance use: People, politics and promises

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In 2021, Dame Carol Black was commissioned by the UK government to undertake an independent review of drug treatment in England. Her findings resulted in a collective sigh of relief for those working in and around the substance use field. She had listened to people living and working with substance use and she had learned. Her recommendations offered a grain of hope that substance use policy in England may change for the better.

She reported that the current treatment system was not ‘fit for purpose’ and stated that ‘recovery is about more than just treatment’. She recognised that many people will ‘require long-term follow-up’ care including support with accommodation, employment and social networks. In short, she confirmed what many of us already knew: the current system of specialist substance use treatment has been failing the people it was meant to serve. After a decade of severe funding cuts, she reported the substance use treatment sector was broken and in need of whole scale change.

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Access Study and the UK government's response

Ein Service des deutschen Präventionstages.