DDN June 2018

‘There was no suggestion of being silenced’

We could be about to see a big upsurge in crack use – but are we ready for it? How seriously should we treat the reappearance of ‘crack horror’ warnings? In this month’s cover story, Kevin Flemen suggests a pragmatic response.

With so many different drugs in circulation and symptoms to look out for, we’ve been developing our DDN ‘Wider Health’ series, beginning with a centre-pages pullout on alcohol. As Steve Brinksman points out in his latest Post-it, many patients present with health issues that are not obviously linked to drug or alcohol use. Our at-a-glance guide will help to understand conditions in which alcohol is a contributory factor and is designed with non-specialists in mind, to create better pathways across all branches of healthcare. Please pass it to colleagues where you can – the pdf is freely available on our website. We are very grateful for Alcohol Research UK for supporting us to develop this resource.

In creating advice pages, let’s not forget that most crucial part of the equation – service user involvement. When we started DDN nearly 14 years ago ‘Nothing about us without us’ was an essential theme. When Alan Joyce wrote his piece in 2006 (page 9) there was plenty to campaign for, but no suggestion of the patient voice being silenced. So Nick Goldstein’s questions on page 8 about the health of service user involvement deserve our full attention. We may need to consider a different model, but the need for a clear and challenging voice has never been greater.

Claire Brown, editor

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