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Proposed new model for Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service

Published September 05, 2017 9.33am


Support for drug and alcohol users across County Durham is to become more accessible thanks to a new service model, councillors will hear next week.

Following a comprehensive review carried out between July 2016 and February 2017, the proposed new model for the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service will see a move from a building-based model to community outreach provision, which will include the use of local assets such as pharmacies, primary care and community buildings.

Cabinet will hear that the new service will remain a recovery-based model, with a range of prevention, harm minimisation, psychosocial, clinical and recovery support.

The new model will bring benefits to those accessing the services and their families, reducing travel time and costs to centres and may be particularly beneficial to working age people, disabled people and those with care responsibilities, members will hear.

Family focused

Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, our Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: "Drug and alcohol services make a significant contribution to tackling health inequalities, increasing life expectancy and reducing crime and disorder in our local communities.

"While the existing model has many positives, some challenges remain in relation to treatment outcomes which are equal to the North East average but lower than the national average.

"The new services will be more family focused, including support for children and young people of parents who use substances, will see an improved integration with a range of other services and provide flexibility for a range of community based venues."

Building recovery

The new model complements the Government's new drug and alcohol strategy released in July, which has a particular focus on building recovery and supporting those recovering from their dependency on drugs and alcohol.

Councillors are now being asked to approve the procurement of the new service for a start date of February 2018.

A review by Public Health England in January estimated that for every £1 spent on substance misuse treatment, a £2.50 saving is recouped on the social costs of drug misuse. 

The new model, which was developed following discussions with a range of partners including Durham Constabulary, Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS trusts, will also see significant savings made due to the reduction in the costs of premises.                                                                        

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