Shropshire Council

Drug and alcohol services

  • Period: 15 December 2014 - 06 February 2015
  • Status: Closed
  • Audiences: Everyone
  • Topics: Public health
  • Type: Public

What is this consultation about?

We aim to make sure that everyone can access the support they need to live long, satisfying lives. We have looked at our drug and alcohol treatment system and would like to make some changes to make them work in a better way for you. We want to make sure that everyone who wants support gets the best help they can to make the changes that they need to.

We also want to help parents, partners and others who live with someone who is misusing drugs and alcohol to get help too when they need it.

This consultation is seeking your views on a proposed single drug and alcohol service for Shropshire that aims to:

  • Places a greater focus on long term recovery.
  • Puts more responsibility on individuals to own their recovery.
  • Supports families affected by drug and/or alcohol misuse.

Why are we doing this?

The 2010 the National Drug Strategy set out a new ambition for people dependent on drugs and alcohol to provide better support to help them recover and stay recovered. There was also a recognition problematic drug use was changing. With fewer people becoming addicted to substances such as heroin and an increasing use of new psychoactive substances (also known as legal highs) and other drugs, including over the counter and prescription drugs, treatment services needed to change.

In April 2013 we became the lead organisation responsible for commissioning drug and alcohol services. This means we have to ensure drug and alcohol services meet people’s needs, provide the highest quality and offer best value for money. This change in responsibility has provided the opportunity to look at the current system to ensure it responds to local needs and supports the ambition to improve long term recovery.

The number of people who need help for drug misuse is relatively small when compared to those who become dependent on alcohol. Because of how the current system is delivered some people have to wait longer for alcohol services than they should.

We want to ensure that everyone gets the help they need, when they need it regardless of whether they have a drug or alcohol problem. We believe by bringing drug and alcohol services together we can support people better.

Current model and future delivery

The current service is delivered through a number of organisations that work closely together (see Diagram A). In the new model we want to make it simpler for people who need help to access it quickly. We do not know yet whether the new model will be provided by one or a number of organisations working together as they do now. We do know that we want to provide a simple and effective service to people that supports people to move on from dependency.

What is recovery?

Recovery is a process more so than an end state and will mean different things to different people. We have used the United Kingdom Drugs Policy Commission (UKDPC) consensus statement of 2008 to define our ambition of recovery which is a process “Characterised by voluntarily sustained control over substance use that maximises health and well-being and participation in the rights, roles and responsibilities of society”.
(A vision for recovery, UKDPC, 2008 p: 6)

This means recovery is much wider than just being free from dependence on drugs and alcohol; it is about having a safe place to live, a job, friends and a place in society.

Focus on recovery: What the new service will offer

It is proposed the new drug and alcohol treatment system will be recovery focused and will target those individuals who are posing the highest risks to themselves, their families and the communities in which they live. To do this we propose to move from having separate drug and alcohol services to having one service that will cater for all needs.

The new system will ensure recovery is a visible and shared ambition on entry to treatment and continued throughout the treatment journey supporting families during recovery. Many of the current services already support recovery, however we have looked at current services and think we can improve our offer. We would like to:

  • Help more people to become free from drug or alcohol dependency at home supported by a nurse.
  • Provide better ongoing help and support for people after they’ve stopped being dependent on drugs or alcohol.
  • Provide better access to Hep B vaccinations and Hep C screening to improve people’s health and wellbeing.
  • Encourage people who use needle exchanges to have more time to talk to a drug worker if they need to.
  • Encourage families to get the help they need.
  • Support people to use services such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous which can help recovery.
  • Have one telephone number for both drug and alcohol services.
  • Have a clear offer of service and what this means in terms of help.

What services will be included in the new model?

The new service will need to offer a range of services to support recovery and harm reduction and meet quality standards including.

  • Information and advice
  • Needle exchange
  • Withdrawal /detoxification
  • Medical services (for e.g. methadone).
  • One to one support
  • Counselling
  • Family support
  • Structured aftercare

The service will also work very closely with services such as housing and Job Centre Plus to make sure that we help you to look at any problems which may stand in the way of recovery.

We still want to provide services where we currently do, in market towns across Shropshire so you can see us close to where you live.


Complete our short online feedback form to let us know what you think about this service and our proposals.

Tell us »

Data protection

Information collected in our surveys will only be used by us (Shropshire Council) to inform the immediate and future provision of our services. The information you provide will be kept confidential in accordance with our Privacy Policy. It will not be shared outside of Shropshire Council. Information collected via our online surveys (hosted on the Surveymonkey website) will be stored on SurveyMonkey’s servers in the United States of America and SurveyMonkey gives an undertaking never to disclose the survey questions or your responses to others without permission.