New report from the Centre for Social Justice makes for difficult reading

Posted in: Alcohol, Drugs by John Richmond on 5 September 2013
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'No Quick Fix', a report by the Centre for Social Justice released this week looking into the depth of Britain's drug and alcohol problems. paints a very bleak picture indeed. It exposes the shortcomings of mainstream recovery treatment policy as well as the government's failure to tackle cheap alcohol and the explosion in legal highs.

Whilst the headline figure of £36billion - the reported cost of drugs and alcohol to the nation is bad enough, it's the human cost in relation to addiction which is the true tragedy. There has been for many years clear evidence that alcohol and drug abuse fuels poverty and deprivation, often leading to family breakdown, homelessness, crime, debt and long-term worklessness. Unavoidably this spiral of despair affects everyone connected to addiction - ruining lives, destroying families and blighting entire communities across the length and breadth of the UK.

As a health professional committed to real recovery, it's upsetting to read headlines in the press announcing 'UK worst in EU for drink and drugs addictions'. It's particularly saddening when organisations like Delphi Medical are experiencing (all be it on a local/regional level) real successes based around multi-agency working which concentrates on providing services led by the needs of the patient and which focuses on reducing the reliance on replacement prescribing in favour of recovery within a local community setting.

Whilst I'm not for a moment suggesting that the country's drug and alcohol addiction problems can be solved by simply applying a 'whole person approach' to substance misuse treatment, it surely warrants greater consideration with a view to wider adoption and proper funding.

A copy of the report can be read by clicking on this link.