Blogger’s note; Along with England there is a shift in policy focus for healthcare workers to be aware of their responsibilities and duties to all people including those who have alcohol or drug illnesses.
All agencies in Scotland, UK dealing with drug addiction and its underlying causes need to refocus their talents and energies on helping addicts into recovery, Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing said today.
Responding to the publication of the Scottish Advisory Committee on Drug Misuse (SACDM) Sub-Group’s ‘Essential Care’ Report, Mr Ewing confirmed that the path to recovery would be at the centre of Scotland’s new national drugs strategy which will be published before the summer.
The new report is published today as former Health Minister Susan Deacon chairs a conference in Glasgow looking at how the concept of ‘recovery’ might be applied to the field of drug addiction.
Mr Ewing said that the emerging focus on recovery represents ‘a real opportunity to put a strategy in place that commands widespread professional, political and public support’.
Some of the main findings of the SACDM Sub-Group’s Essential Care Report are:
- There is a need for a major change in the philosophy of care for people with problem substance use in Scotland
- Substance users are people with aspirations
- Policy makers, commissioners and services need to consider how they can help them recover
- Substance users have the right to the same quality of care as the rest of us
Mr Ewing said:
“The Essential Care report contains a number of welcome recommendations which are already being looked at as we develop our new drugs strategy.
“I believe we need to get better at encouraging each addict’s personal vision of recovery by reducing practical barriers to services, while giving people hope by acknowledging that recovery is achievable.
“I have met former addicts who tell me that the key to believing in your own recovery is ‘believing it can happen for you’ – being optimistic that you can recover. The concept of recovery represents a significant shift in thinking and has happened in the field of mental health – why shouldn’t people with drug problems believe they can recover too?
“That’s the question that all the agencies working to tackle drug misuse need to ask themselves. If the answer isn’t yet a straightforward ‘yes’ – then they need to challenge the approaches they are taking. We have a real opportunity to put a strategy in place that commands widespread professional, political and public support. I want us all to seize that opportunity.
“We will publish a new drugs strategy for Scotland before summer and its main focus will be recovery. It is essential that people experiencing drug problems have access to a range of wider services including employment, housing, and health that help them to move-on and rebuild their lives.”
The Scottish Government is organising this conference to provide an opportunity for discussion and debate about what recovery means for people with problem drug use in Scotland, to develop a shared understanding about how to promote and support recovery and discuss the implications of building up a Recovery Movement.
This approach has been used successfully in the mental health field for people with similarly complex needs and the conference will hear from Simon Bradstreet of the Scottish Recovery Network about what has been achieved. Turning Point Scotland, one of the biggest voluntary sector providers of drug services have been ‘learning as an organisation’ to put recovery at the forefront of their care, and will share their experience with delegates.
Above all, there will be input from people with personal experience of drug problems who are driving along their own recovery and who are showing it can be done.
The majority of the Essential Care report is concerned with the Essential Care that is needed to address problems in other areas of drug service users’ lives; their general health, their mental health and their social skills and relationships. It lists all the areas which may need attention, together with evidence of their benefits.
But the main conclusion is something more visionary. The report states that there needs to be a major change in the philosophy of care for problem substance use in Scotland – focused on the recovery of each individual and putting service users’ aspirations at the centre of care.