Phoenix Futures responds to Dame Carol Black’s Review of Drugs – Part 2

This is a highly anticipated report that arrives at a critical time for the many thousands of people directly affected by substance use problems and the millions indirectly affected as a family member, friend or carer, says Phoenix Futures.

Substance use dependency and addiction is a complex health condition but with personalised care delivered in the right setting it is treatable and many of the associated harms can be avoided. However, left untreated in an underfunded and poorly connected health and social care system those harms can be life threatening. With drug-related deaths and harms at record levels it is vital we take this opportunity to realise the huge potential of investing in improving and saving lives.

The report has identified the fault lines in our treatment system and provided a whole system approach to fixing them. Dame Carol Black has given a robust business case for the changes, including additional funding, and set out a clear narrative for why we can’t get it wrong.

There is much to support in this report.

At Phoenix we have been campaigning for many years for improved access to, and funding for, the vital health and social care services for people with substance use problems. People who use, or have used drugs, despite our knowledge of the personal and social drivers of addiction, are some of the most marginalised and stigmatised people in society. Despite these efforts, and those of others, we have a long way to go to address this life-threatening inequality.

In particular the report highlights that high-cost low-volume services like residential treatment and inpatient detox have been starved of funding and should be commissioned on a regional basis. We support the recommendation that DHSC, NHSE and the Office for Health Promotion review commissioning and funding mechanisms by the end of 2021/22.

We believe this is a once in a generation opportunity to redress the inequality faced by people from all walks of life. In particular to focus on how we can all work together to create genuinely effective, inclusive, connected and caring services and support that lead to sustainable recovery.

Read the full blog post here.

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We are proud to work in partnership with many of the leading charities and treatment providers in the sector.

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