‘We loved becoming the new forum for debate’
FIFTEEN YEARS AGO we published our first issue of DDN.
I interviewed the drugs minister Caroline Flint, who talked about the new drug intervention programme (DIP) and the recently launched Alcohol harm reduction strategy. There was a lot happening – the Home Office was pumping money into the sector to ‘break the cycle between drugs and crime’.
By our second issue we had a full letters page. Our new readers engaged with us fast and we loved becoming the new forum for debate. Ministers, service users, academics, policy makers – all joined in. We became more and more interested in our capacity to create a voice for fairer treatment and set up the annual DDN conference.
As a small, independent team we have often been very ‘hand to mouth’, particularly as the funding for the sector began to dry up. But we felt that where there’s a will there’s a way, and we have always been determined to keep DDN free of charge to readers.
Communications have changed radically and debate these days is often lurking on social media. But our readers are loyal, so onwards we go. Thank you for being part of our community. We hope you like our new design – make our day by getting in touch!
Claire Brown, editor