DDN September 2017

‘As we celebrate recovery, let’s credit harm reduction’

As we enter ‘recovery month’ there’s no better time to reinforce harm reduction – the route to recovery, and the reason it’s sustainable. What works for one person won’t work for another and we need to open every door to better health.

At a recent parliamentary group participants voiced their anxiety about the way drug treatment is being compromised by lack of funding and prioritisation (page 10). There were calls for a new approach, condemnation of punitive measures, and yet more warnings about a looming public health crisis. All were concerned about taking the strain off the NHS by tackling chronic health conditions that could be treated at a much earlier stage by enhancing drug and alcohol treatment.

So as we celebrate recovery, let’s use this vibrant demonstration of success to credit the role of harm reduction. How many people who celebrate their number of years ‘clean’ nearly lost their life to an overdose? How many owe their life to a drug or alcohol worker, mentor or friend in the right place at the right time, who knew essential harm reduction or had a naloxone kit?

As always we try to bring you the information you need, and this issue’s cover story focuses on the much misunderstood drug ketamine (page 6). The Findings team offer a fascinating insight into a hyped-up crack epidemic (page 12), while Addaction and Blenheim share their work supporting young people (pages 8 and 16).

And we’re excited to announce a new feature – the iCAAD knowledge hub. This innovative team are supporting a regular column in DDN to showcase inspiring ideas, so please get in touch!

Read it here as a mobile magazine or PDF.

Claire Brown, editor
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