In March 2018, the Drug Policy Alliance led a delegation of 70 U.S. advocates to Portugal to learn from its health and human-centred approach to drug use.
The trip provided an opportunity for drug policy reform advocates to appreciate how effective a dramatically different approach to drugs can be.
Read the briefing paper about the Portugal visit and the link to:
Universal Addiction Healthcare was created in response to the consistently increasing number of drug and alcohol related deaths in the UK but particularly in Scotland.
The aim is to provide comprehensive training for front-line medical staff, nurses, first responders and lived experience volunteers, in order that they can provide a compassionate and holistic response to addicted individuals who present themselves in crisis at Accident and Emergency Departments.
Addiction is not a criminal justice issue but a public health issue which requires specialist training and insight into the medical and psychosocial nature of the illness.
I believe in the benefits of accessible and available addiction healthcare and of an individual’s right to expect effective, inclusive and compassionate treatment from NHS Services without fear of judgement or negative consequences
I am an addiction clinician and therapist, with 27 years of addiction healthcare treatment programmes experience, and 30 years lived experience to support fulfilling my professional and personal recovery obligation to provide addiction and mental healthcare to individuals and families in need of help.
In January 2019 I initiated a partnership with the American Society Addiction Medicine to provide evidence-based/fundamentals in addiction trainings and resources to augment healthcare providers in Scotland of the skills and knowledge they need to treat addicted patients.
I am proposing implementing 24/7 addiction emergency treatment clinics within A&E-NHS settings. facilitated by trained in the ASAM “Fundamentals of Addiction” medicine healthcare professionals, in addition to the Scottish Recovery Consortium lived experience – peer-led support volunteers for people in need to access available addiction and mental health primary care integrated treatment programmes to provide the most effective approach for supporting person-centred addiction and mental healthcare.
The following links reveal the backbone of the ASAM evidence-based research and teachings:
The ASAM definition of addiction:
The ASAM “Strategic Plan”
ASAM “Fundamentals of Addiction Training”
Addiction and mental health disorders are medical conditions and their treatment has impacts on and is impacted by other mental and physical health conditions, integrated addiction and mental healthcare programmes can help address health disparities, reduce health care costs for both patients and family members, and improve general health outcomes.
Well-supported evidence shows that the current substance use disorder workforce does not have the capacity to meet the existing need for integrated health care, and the current general health care workforce is undertrained to deal with substance use-related problems.
Health care now requires a new, larger, more diverse workforce with the skills to prevent, identify, and treat addictive disorders, providing “personalized addictive care” through integrated care delivery.
A new strategic plan strengthens the focus on a full spectrum of addiction care: prevention, treatment, remission, and recovery.
• Biopsychosocial assessment
• Medically assisted detox
• Medically assisted treatment programmes
• Lived experience community support services
The New Model: Many Paths to Recovery.
• The understanding of addiction described above suggests the need for specialised addiction medicine training and treatment directives in which addiction is treated concurrently with related physical health, mental health and social issues.
• Universal addiction healthcare combines essential medical and psychopharmacology interventions uniquely tailored to each person’s needs.
• The treatment plan should begin “wherever the person is” in terms of a health crisis. There should be no “jumping through hoops” such as having to produce clean urine samples in order to access treatment services