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Better integrated care needed for drug users

22nd November 2012

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has said adults with drug use disorders need more support.

The drugs regulator has said an integrated approach to care is fundamental in helping such individuals overcome the health inequalities they face as a result of their addiction.

In its latest quality standard, it also wants commissioners to make sure drug services support people who have given up drugs for at least six months.

The quality standard says people accessing drug treatment should be offered a comprehensive assessment of their drug use and resources for recovery; that families and carers of people who misuse drugs should be offered an assessment of their personal, social and mental health needs; and people in drug treatment should be offered support to access services that promote recovery and reintegration including housing, education, employment, personal finance, healthcare and mutual aid.

NICE deputy chief executive Professor Gillian Leng said the aim of the new quality standard was to drive improvements in key areas of the drug use treatment pathway by providing a set of measurable markers to help demonstrate how services are performing.

She said: “Drug use disorders are a serious problem in England and Wales. In 2010 alone, there were around 1800 deaths related to drug misuse.

“It is important that there is a joined-up approach in addressing the issues surrounding drug use disorders and this new quality standard sets out what needs to be done in order to make sure that every individual is receiving the best possible care and support.”

 

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