As a former senior police officer, I have seen first-hand the impact of substance misuse, not just on the users themselves, but also on their families, friends and the wider community, writes Coun Tony Harper.
In Nottinghamshire, there are more than 170,000 residents who use drugs or alcohol in a way which poses a risk to their health, of which 26,000 could be classed as ‘dependent’ on substances like opiate, crack or alcohol.
All of these residents could therefore benefit with tailored help and support from substance misuse services.
The council has just approved a plan to change the way it offers substance misuse services in Nottinghamshire.
The new package, which will be delivered by an organisation called Change Grow Live, will offer one combined service for all ages with appropriate support based on their age, instead of the current separate services for adults and young people.
The new service will begin in April 2020 and is funded by the council with a contribution from the Police and Crime Commissioner.
This new family-based approach will tackle inter-generational substance misuse.
It will also mean that the service will be able to track and keep in touch with young people who have previously accessed substance misuse services as they become adults, with transition arrangements focused on the young person’s needs.
There will be a focus on prevention and early intervention, in particular with young people to prevent substance misuse into adulthood.
Change Grow Live has considerable experience delivering both adult and young people’s substance misuse services nationally and is the current provider in Nottinghamshire.
Providing well-funded drug and alcohol services is good value for money because it cuts crime, improves health, and can support individuals and families on the road to recovery.
Coun Tony Harper is chairman of the adult social care and public health committee at Nottinghamshire County Council.