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Home > Advocating for treatment and recovery at the strategic level: lessons from a roundtable of commissioners.

Drugscope. (2015) Advocating for treatment and recovery at the strategic level: lessons from a roundtable of commissioners. London: Drugscope & Recovery Partnership.

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This briefing is part of a programme of work conducted by DrugScope on behalf of the Recovery Partnership, which considers the challenges and opportunities associated with advocating for treatment and recovery at the strategic level, seeks to share good practice and offers support to those occupying strategic positions in the drug and alcohol sector.

It brings together the findings from the initial part of the project, which include telephone discussions with commissioners and a roundtable event held in March 2015, attended by drug and alcohol commissioners from around England. In addition to acknowledging the challenges that substance misuse commissioners face, it also includes some suggestions of how commissioners might make the case for substance misuse treatment at a time of budgetary constraints and competing public health and social priorities.

It considers the challenges that drug and alcohol commissioners face in making the case for engagement with and investment in the sector, challenges which may include budgetary constraints at a time of austerity, the existence of competing priorities in public health, and the difficulties associated with building and sustaining effective partnerships. However, roundtable participants shared many examples of good practice in attempts to overcome these challenges, and these represent the focus of this paper. Case studies, developed with commissioners from Lancashire and Sutton, offer two examples of how this has been achieved in practice. The paper concludes with recommendations for UK drug and alcohol commissioners looking to make the case for the sector at the strategic level, and signposting to resources which may be useful to this end.


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