Recovery Partnership:
 Substance Misuse
Commissioning Bulletin
December 2015
Dear Colleague,

DrugScope, the Recovery Group UK and the Substance Misuse Skills Consortium formed the Recovery Partnership in May 2011 to provide a new collective voice for the sector on the achievement of the ambitions set out in the 2010 Drug Strategy. After DrugScope closed Adfam took on delivery of its Recovery Partnership activities for 2015-16. These include policy and practice regional roundtables – you can read our 2015 report ‘Treatment and Recovery: Black and Minority Ethnic Communities' (pdf) here, and some work on substance misuse commissioning from 2014 here (pdf) - and the substantial State of the Sector report which will be published in the new year.

This bulletin contains information and resources we hope you find useful. Please let us know if you would prefer not to receive these updates from us. Scroll down to read about an exciting event we are holding in Manchester in February next year – we will send another bulletin after that.
Recovery Partnership Commissioners Event – 12 February 2016
On 12 February 2016 the Recovery Partnership is holding a free event in Manchester for drug and alcohol commissioners. Based on the feedback gathered from our scoping meeting in the summer we are aware that like services commissioners are working in pressurised environments. The event will involve a ‘peer support’ element, a space for commissioners to discuss the challenges they are experiencing and share solutions. Attendees will be invited to share innovative practice, some examples of which will be included in a short briefing and disseminated widely. We will be joined by speakers discussing specific projects relevant to the commissioning of drug and alcohol services. There will also be time for informal networking.
Lunch is provided and we are offering a contribution towards travel costs. Please do let us know if you would like to attend or would like further details of the event by contacting Lauren Garland on To facilitate effective discussion numbers will be kept fairly low, and attendees will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.
Alcohol Concern and Adfam announce new project to support family members to respond to change resistant drinkers
Alcohol Concern and Adfam are working together on a new project to provide the families and carers of change resistant drinkers with the skills and confidence to support their loved ones. This new project is co-funded by Local Authorities from across the country and is working with families and treatment services locally to develop a toolkit of approaches and training based on a supportive, harm-reduction and risk-management approach. Co-funding the project will entitle Local Authorities to: a report on what is happening with this client group in their local area and an action plan; involvement in the development of the guidance; and local training on the use of guidance and joined up services.
Interactive PbR tool
This project is run by Russell Webster and funded by the Oak Foundation. It is focused on the development of an interactive tool for commissioners and providers to assess whether PbR may be effective and relevant for the services they are commissioning or running. It has three stages: the first being a literature review of existing research studies looking at PbR models; the second a series of workshops and consultations with commissioners, service users and providers; and the final being the development and piloting of the actual tool.
The workshops are being held in London on Monday 18 January and in Coventry on Tuesday 2 February. You can find details on the web page.
Dry January
Alcohol Concern is promoting its Dry January campaign, with 2 million people suggested to have gone dry for January last year. This year Britvic, Strada and others are supporting the campaign – as is Public Health England. Interested parties can sign up online.
Global Drug Survey 2016
This annual survey produces the largest global data-set on patterns of drug use - the 2015 survey had over 100,000 respondents. It offers an anonymous survey which can be completed by anyone aged 16 or over who has used any drug in the last year.
“How to Invest” – guide for commissioning services for families affected by substance use
Following the publication earlier this year of the ‘Why Invest’ resource which makes the case for investment in family support services for those affected by drug or alcohol use, Adfam is developing a follow-up ‘How to Invest’ resource which will provide commissioners with guidance and best-practice information on what effective family support is, what different models are out there, how they work, and how to commission them to get the best services for this often overlooked group of families. This guidance will be published in the near year – if you have any queries please contact

State of the Sector
Adfam, on behalf of the Recovery Partnership, will be publishing State of the Sector 2015/16 in early 2016.This report will build on the two previous iterations of the report to provide a comprehensive overview of where the drug and alcohol treatment sector is and what its current strengths and weaknesses are.
Adult substance misuse statistics from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (pdf) – Public Health England
This report covers the latest information and statistics, from April 2014 until March 2015, on the over 295,000 people in treatment for alcohol and drug problems in the UK. The statistics show the continuing rise in age profile of the cohort of heroin users – 44% of the more than 150,000 people in treatment for opiate use are 40 years old and over. The number of young people aged 18-24 presenting to treatment services has fallen by 33% since 2009/10, with the main substances involved for young people being cannabis (52%) and cocaine (23%). The number of younger opiate users has fallen by 60% since 2009/10. Alcohol Policy UK has produced an analysis of the alcohol treatment figures.
Collective Voice briefing ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review (pdf) – Collective Voice
Collective Voice, a partnership between eight drug and alcohol treatment providers, has produced this briefing arguing for the protection of investment in the treatment system. The briefing makes three key arguments, characterised as political, financial and moral. The political argument is that cuts in treatment budgets breaks Government promises to protect frontline health services, the financial that the savings that treatment provides by reducing health and crime related costs will be lost, and the moral that drug and alcohol related deaths are likely to rise if treatment budgets fall.
Alcohol, drugs and tobacco joint strategic needs assessment support pack – Public Health England
Local authorities are responsible for commissioning tobacco control, alcohol and drug interventions and services, and have to produce joint strategic needs assessments (JSNAs) to outline the priorities in their areas. This support pack from Public Health England (PHE) is intended to help local areas develop JSNAs and local joint health and wellbeing strategies.
The pack provides a set of good practice prompts and data-sets for four topics:
  • Alcohol harm prevention, treatment and recovery for adults
  • Drug prevention, treatment and recovery for adults
  • Tobacco control
  • Young people’s drug, alcohol and tobacco use.
As part of the support pack, PHE have also updated their presentation on Alcohol and drugs prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest? (pdf) with new statistics and infographics. The presentation highlights harm to families and communities, including the 1,200,000 people affected by drug addiction in their families, that parental drug use is a risk factor in 29% of all serious case reviews, and 27% of all serious case reviews mention alcohol misuse.