“To be a more successful country we need to see an overall improvement in our population health, and we need to close the gap between the health of our wealthiest communities and the health of our poorest.
Only through an effective partnership, can we make the best use of our collective resources and work together to tackle our most difficult challenges – making a real difference to the prosperity and wellbeing of our communities.”
Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP
First Minister of Scotland
Education in the fundamentals of the ASAM specialist Fundamentals in Addition Trainings and Strategic Treatment/compassionate continuum care programmes must be implemented into A&E NHS services.
In order to positively impact the financial and emotional burden upon the NHS of people in an addiction-related health crisis, acute care clinics must be implanted into the public health sector.
Treating people in an addiction crisis in a safe, medically supervised addiction recovery clinic will require all medical and healthcare practitioners are trained in the fundamentals of addiction medicine.
People in active addiction arrive at A&E with a need to be treated, not dismissed, and discharged. They need to be able to choose a treatment plan: a medically supervised impatient detox, impatient primary treatment plan with aftercare upon discharge to support the varying stages of addiction recovery.
The NHS Health Scotland “Burden of Disease” study highlights that alcohol and drug dependence are major contributors to absolute inequalities and recommends that alongside other measures we must tackle conditions that are more prevalent within higher levels of deprivation.
Like many international cities, Glasgow has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic. Since 2000, annual overdose deaths involving opioids have increased tenfold, with a dramatic spike over the past few years driven by the spread of the highly lethal opioid fentanyl. In a recent survey, more than 1 in 4 Glaswegians reported knowing someone who had died from an opioid overdose.
The death toll is even more tragic in light of the many effective treatments for opioid use disorder that exist. Overdose-reversal drugs, naloxone and -approved medications for opioid use disorder — buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone — have all been shown to reduce overdose deaths, but they aren’t consistently getting into the hands of the individuals or the communities that need them most.
I attach a link to findings of the Global Commission chaired by Madam Dreifuss of the challenges that are a constant in policy, protocols and procedures progressing bearing mind cutbacks, a direct link to the escalating number of opioid overdoses and deaths.
I am a person in long-term recovery (30 years) who continues to raise addiction awareness, and strive for essential changes in the dismissive, negative, judgemental perceptions and language that defines the current treatment by healthcare professional of people in an addiction healthcare crisis.
It is by overcoming prejudice, and stigma, (which stopped me initially from getting help when I most needed it) and making accessible inpatient and outpatient primary care, inpatient and outpatient addiction medicine treatment programmes that will save lives, NOW that is needed.
No more more time and money on research into why people are dying from opioid overdoses…I know why…and I want to ensure people receive the help they need to recover from active addiction.
I am currently engaged in forming strategic partnerships with Scottish recovery organisations to strengthen the focus on a full spectrum of addiction care: prevention, treatment, remission, aftercare, and re-generation of relationship with family, workplace and recovery communities.
The plan includes: patients and their families and will highlight the personal experience of addiction in much closer view.
The plan outlines solutions aimed at leading scientific and medical progression in the field. It also exemplifies a firm recommitment to providing continued education for all treatment providers.
Renewed and redesigned goals amass to form a robust foundation and profound course of action in the spirit of the recovery from active addiction.
With a strategic plan in place, the opportunity to set standards, pioneer research, educate healthcare professionals and the public, challenge stigma, endeavours to enhance the goal of holistically treatments from medically supervised detoxes, to save lives, and reduce the financial burden upon the person in need of recovery, their family and community..
This strategic plan provides to guide and prioritize that way forward.
• Positive changes are seen as starting points for the recovery process: reduced harm, safer use, reduced use, moderation and potential abstinence.
• A comprehensive initial assessment will determine an initial personalized treatment plan based on substance use severity, the psychobiosocial factors, multiple meanings and functions of the behaviour, motivation to change, and insight.
• Effective treatment has a primary focus on engagement and therapeutic alliance throughout the assessment process that “starts where the person is” with empathy, respect and acceptance, because creating safety and support are seen as essential to the therapeutic outcomes.
• Teaching self-management skills to address urges and difficult emotions is often essential. An ongoing assessment throughout treatment deepens both client and therapist awareness of the addiction severity and its meaning and functions.
• Exploring the client’s resistance about change reveals the issues that need new solutions. As these issues are clarified, positive change goals around the substance use and these issues can be established.
• And, finally, a personalized plan for pursuing these positive changes can be developed collaboratively between client and therapist. The plan may include a variety of therapeutic modalities, lifestyle changes, health practices and medications depending on the client’s needs.
It is time for sustainable addiction healthcare programmes, that are accessible 24/7.