We must be genuine in our efforts to be responsive
The number of women dying a drug-related death has increased by a staggering 80 per cent in the last decade, which is why we’re keen to support an initiative to improve women’s access to treatment (p6). We need to replace failing practice with a new system that puts women at its heart, says Karen Tyrell – well illustrated by The Oasis Project’s inspiring work (p8).
With the vast majority of people in drug and alcohol services reporting mental health problems (p10), similar giant strides are needed in developing services with an integrated approach to mental health difficulties and substance misuse. We’re still creating barriers to accessing services – ‘address your substance misuse before you can have mental health support’ – instead of accepting that there’s no neat pattern of behaviour. As the team from Bath explore (p12), most people experiencing addiction have had traumatic experiences in their lives, so we need to be genuine in our efforts to learn about and respond to this.
If there’s ever a temptation to create a service model and then expect people to fit to it, the distressing story on p16 should serve as a warning. How much time, money – and sheer anguish – could have been saved by consulting the patients as equal partners?
Claire Brown, editor
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