Tuesday 22 July 2014
News SearchSearch all the news
Tuesday 22 July 2014
Monday 21 July 2014
The present Bailiwick Drug & Alcohol Strategy has continued to tackle the issues of drug and alcohol misuse locally. However, misuse of drugs and alcohol still remains a major cause of ill health, social problems and economic costs to all the islands within the Bailiwick.
Partnership working with HSSD, Education and other States departments and the voluntary sector has supported achievement in drug and alcohol harm reduction to date. This partnership is essential to future success, as all have their part to play. Targeted drug and alcohol initiatives can contribute to reducing health inequalities.
The proposal for the new Strategy's vision is
"A safe and healthy Bailiwick where the harm caused by drugs and alcohol is minimised"
In developing the detail of the new 2015 - 2020 strategy, the Home Department and HSSD launched a scoping exercise in July 2013 seeking comments and ideas to produce a new plan to further reduce the prevalence of drug and alcohol misuse. A wide range of organisations and individuals as well as the public were invited to respond and all the comments and suggestions have been taken into consideration.
Last year Liverpool, John Moores University (LJMU) was commissioned to carry out a research project in developing the Bailiwick treatment system for substance misusers. They covered 3 main areas
1. To determine measures needed within substance misuse and related health services in order to monitor and improve outcomes. The vision is to have a high quality, evidence based treatment system with the flexibility and resilience to respond to the changing needs of the population in relation to substance misuse.
2. To produce 8 Best Practice Factsheets on the key areas of focus for the Strategy with recommendations against the gap analysis
3. To carry out a consultation with Service Users and stakeholders to examine the views and perceptions on the treatment system to inform ongoing processes of communication and to inform future decision - making
Following on from those reports an "away day" was also organised with all local drug and alcohol agencies both states and non- states attending. Over 40 professionals both at Senior Officer and operational level met to participate in various workshops, to discuss the recommendations from LJMU to inform the Strategy further on the trends locally and the areas for development.
Andrea Nightingale stated:
"This is an exciting time for the Strategy. Basically we wanted to find out what is working already, how they can be developed to be more effective in the most cost effective way, and most importantly the gaps. Lots of work has already started with the assistance of HSSD in reviewing the data collection processes and developing a Monitoring System which will not only allow us to bring them in line with best practice but also to benchmark ourselves against national and international data"
Since the combined Strategy started in 2007 there have been many changing trends, a significant one being the introduction of Emerging Drugs of Concern (now known as New Psychoactive Drugs in the UK) This has been a huge challenge and one that the Bailiwick has managed to contain due to overarching legislation being put into place banning the importation of these kind of drugs extremely quickly and efficiently.
Children, Young People and Families are also an area that the Strategy wants to continue to develop. At present the Drug & Alcohol Education Workers offer at least one session per year group from Year 5 upwards, including the Colleges and Colleges of Further Education. Lessons recommend an alcohol free childhood is the safest and healthiest option, the older someone starts drinking the lower the risk, and children should not drink alcohol when under 15 years. They are also offered concise, factual information as to the local trends and these are updated as and when necessary.
Extra lessons are also provided by the agencies for the teachers to deliver if there is a need within a school to provide backup information and the evidence collected to date suggests that they are working. However, further development is needed for new innovative prevention and intervention packages for young people to give them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reduce the risk of them engaging in risky behaviours and families to give their children 'the best start in life'
The Schools Health Education Unit based in Exeter has made the following comment regarding the findings of the Young People's Survey 2013;
'The most striking developments reflected in the survey are the changes in behaviour of Guernsey's young people regarding drugs; alcohol and tobacco, where prevalence is all lower than before. Clearly much work has been undertaken to ensure that young people are aware of the issues associated with risk-taking behaviour and the vast majority of young people have responded by taking those messages on board and developing a sensible attitude to risk-taking behaviour
Two new programmes have been introduced within the last 3 years; A drama performance 'Last Orders' delivered to every year 9 student and STAART (Start Thinking About Alcohol Today) is a new health promotion programme aimed at preventing misuse in 11-15 year olds and delaying the start of drinking alcohol. This programme is funded by the Co-operative Society and delivered by Health Promotion and Education and is delivered to Year 7 students by trained tutors which also involves engaging the parents throughout the programme.
Both the Criminal Justice Drug & Alcohol Services are partnerships between the Probation Service and the respective charitable organisation, Drug Concern and GADAC. The primary purpose is to provide the local Courts, Prison and Parole Board with the facilities necessary to enable them to impose treatment as a condition of supervision. Some of the criteria include a high likelihood of reoffending, a custodial sentence, two or more previous drug or alcohol related offences or the offence has a significant victim. Successful completion of orders remains higher than breaches for both services, which continues to be an encouraging statistic.
The CJAS is also including convicted Drink Drivers now as more of a rehabilitation package and a High Risk Drink Driver Scheme has just been agreed by the States and is being implemented. This will continue within the New Strategy.
Since its introduction in 2007, The Control of Intoxicating Liquor (Designated Public Places) Ordinance, 2007 has been used effectively by Guernsey Police at large public events such as Liberation Day and music events as appropriate where excessive drinking had previously led to anti-social behaviour-related issues. This legislation has also been used to support measures taken by Guernsey Police at known anti-social hotspots.
Francis Quin, the Deputy Minister of the Home Department added:
"We must now continue to develop the excellent work that has already been done, change the areas that need to be more productive in the most cost efficient way and ensure that the Strategy provides the best possible service to our Community."
The Strategy and all associated documents can be found at the bottom of this page.
If any organisation or individual would like to meet to discuss areas of particular interest in regard to the development of the Strategy would you please contact Andrea Nightingale email@example.com, Tel 717374 or return any comments by email or post for the attention of Andrea Nightingale, Drug & Alcohol Strategy Coordinator, Sir Charles Frossard House, La Charroterie, St Peter Port, GY1 1FH by August 22 2014 so that they can be considered for inclusion in the new Strategy.