Overhaul to help people recover from alcohol and drug addiction

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Alcohol and substance misuse services for adults across Nottinghamshire will be transformed in a move that will ensure more people are helped to truly recover from drug and alcohol dependency after a contract was awarded today (Tuesday 24 June).

The newly awarded substance misuse and alcohol services for adults in Nottinghamshire, which are expected to be in place by October, will:

• Follow a principle of recovery, rather than solely of treatment for people with drugs and alcohol issues, assisting more people through the system and out the other side free of dependency

• Encourage more people back into work and enable them to make a positive contribution to communities

• Reduce levels of drug related crime in communities across Nottinghamshire

• Offer a flexible community-based service helping people with drugs and alcohol issues in a combination of clinical and non-clinical settings

• Ensure the same high standard of service to people wherever they live in the county.

The new results-focused model was developed based on the recovery principles outlined in the National Drug Strategy (2010). A three-month public consultation then took place between June and September 2013, a final model for services was then produced which went into a tender process that closed in June 2014.

Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, Chair of the Public Health Committee, said:

“As with everything that we commission, our first priority is making sure the people of Nottinghamshire get the best services possible while offering value for tax payer money.

“We firmly believe that the new model agreed for a consistent drugs and alcohol service across the county with a focus on recovery rather than just treatment will offer the best results for people suffering from drugs and alcohol issues, those caring for them and the wider community. We also believe that we are commissioning the best people to achieve the outcomes we need for our residents.

A decision to award contracts to the successful bidder for adult substance misuse services was made at public meeting of the County Council’s Public Health Committee on Thursday 12 June, with a contract formally awarded to the Crime Reduction Initiative (CRI) after a ten day legal ‘standstill’ period.

The Crime Reduction Initiative is a not-for-profit, voluntary sector organisation with a track record of delivering integrated drug and alcohol services successfully in areas across the country including in Peterborough, Warrington, East Lancashire, Dudley, Harrogate and Worcestershire.

Councillor Bosnjak continued: “We are looking at a new and innovative way of doing things better, and central to that is the principle of recovery over treatment.

“Fundamentally rather than wanting to ‘manage’ people with substance misuse issues through treatment like methadone, we are committed to a principle of helping them find a sustained recovery from dependency by offering treatment, but also focusing on other holistic factors that will help in that journey to recovery like mental wellbeing, education, housing and employment.

“Under our new approach the focus is not just on clinical treatment, but also will see providers physically going out into communities and engaging with people that need support. A more flexible model will mean providers will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering support in any number of community environments, rather than necessarily having to wait for them to come into clinical settings.”

The Council has been working with the Police and Crime Commissioner during the consultation and procurement process. Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

“I’m clear that we need to ensure people receive a consistently high quality service that is tailored to their needs to help them overcome dependency and the causes behind that addiction in order to try and get them out of the unremitting cycle of crime used to feed that habit. To do this I think we need to see a new approach, and in these tough times, we also need to ensure a service that provides the best value for money, which is what I believe has been commissioned.

“I’ve been involved in the review process and have agreed to provide some funding to support the Council in this area. Together, we need to do everything we can to prevent substance misuse and the ultimate misery it causes for the person directly involved and their families, while taking direct action to prevent crime.”

Separate contracts have also been awarded to provide substance misuse services for children and young people across Nottinghamshire, and obesity and weight management services for adults, children and young people across Nottinghamshire as part of the same tender process.