By Nicky Adams, programme leader at The Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies, Action on Addiction


The latest NHS statistics released this week on drug misuse in England show that Class A drug use has increased from 6.2% in 2011/12, to 8.4% in 2017/18, mainly driven by an increase in powder cocaine and ecstasy use.


Some 19.8% of adults aged 16 to 24 had taken a drug in the last year, more than double that of the wider age group. Amongst 16 to 59-year-olds, 9% of adults had taken a drug in the last year.


With drug use increasing, it is perhaps unsurprising that the same report also shows 7,258 hospital admissions for drug-related mental and behavioural disorders during 2017/18 and over a quarter of a million individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol services.


As demand for drug and alcohol services increases, it is vital that individuals seeking help - particularly those with the most acute problems - are able to access high quality, successful treatment.


But what makes for successful treatment?


According to Public Health England’s Drugs commissioning support 2019 to 2020: principles and indicators successful treatment and recovery is “optimised by providing welcoming, easy to access, and flexible services that cater for the needs of a broad range of people and problems. They reduce risk of harms, raise recovery-orientated ambitions and facilitate service users’ progress towards recovery goals”.


Therefore, the first step to a successful treatment episode is the assessment of an individual’s needs, combined with their readiness for change.


Our Introduction to Assessment course supports workers to understand the function of triage and assessment processes and how they link with a clear model of effective care planning. Matching client needs to integrated treatment pathways; participants practise skills for engaging clients and deepening the assessment process and explore approaches to developing care plans based on the natural motivation of the client.


Our next Introduction to Assessment course runs 14 January. Find out more information.