This Recovery News Special explores reactions to the coalition governments new drug strategy; George Williams discusses first impressions and future implications with expert commentators -
In a dramatic shift from harm reduction, the new strategy represents a major change in policy that puts drug free living at the top of the agenda and recognises recovery as both an outcome and a process.
For the first time alcohol, prescription and OTC drugs are all included in a strategy that recognises the need to tackle dependence on ‘all drugs’ as a public health issue.
We consider whether the strategy will really tackle Britain’s alcohol problem or whether the focus on ‘severe alcohol dependence’ only addresses the tip of a very big iceberg.
We debate the overhaul of methadone prescribing, and whether we can expect to see an early end to methadone ‘parking’ and a more proactive approach to reducing doses, using it as a stepping stone from the outset.
We look at the proposed changes to benefits, employment and prison services; whether they provide enough incentive to choose recovery and get back to work, and how employers can be convinced that people in recovery make some of the best and most reliable employees.
And we discuss whether the strategy is deliverable; whether we have the recovery infrastructure to do it, and how greater local control and payment by results might affect the outcome.