Supporting people with drug and alcohol problems (WS27)


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Do Social Workers outwith specialist Drug and Alcohol teams have a role in supporting people with drug and alcohol problems? If so, what is this and what support do they need to undertake this role effectively? This workshop will highlight the findings of a review undertaken on this topic and explore the role all social workers and social care staff can play in supporting families and individuals in preventing and coping with addictions.
Contributor: Social Worker seconded to Scottish Government, Drugs Policy Unit

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Supporting people with drug and alcohol problems (WS27)

  1. 1. WorkshopWorld Social Work Day 19 March 2013
  2. 2. Supporting People with Drug and Alcohol ProblemsDo all social workers have a role insupporting people with drug and alcoholproblems? If so what is this and whatsupport do they need to undertake this roleeffectively?
  3. 3. StatisticsIllicit drug use:• Almost one in four adults report taking one or more illicit drugs at some point in their life• Around 1 in 15 adults report using drugs in the last year• 1 in 28 adults reported using one or more illicit drugs in last month• Cannabis most commonly used drug in last year – cocaine second to this• Approximately 40,000 – 60,000 children have a parent with problem drug use – 10,000 to 20,000 are living with their patients• 60% of new clients receiving treatment aged 30 and over• 19% of new clients aged 40 and over• There were 584 drug related deaths registered in Scotland in 2011.
  4. 4. StatisticsAlcohol use:• Alcohol sales in Scotland in 2011 equivalent to 21.6 units per adult per week• Consumption in UK has doubled since the 1950s• Alcohol related hospital discharges have quadrupled since the early 1980s. More than 100 Scots being admitted to hospital each day• 70% of assaults presenting at A&E were alcohol related• Deaths caused by alcohol have doubled in recent decades. Scotland has one of the fastest growing chronic liver disease and cirrhosis rates in the world• Significant number of young people drinking on a regular basis potentially limiting them from achieving their full potential• Half of Scottish prisoners (including 75% of young offenders) say they were drunk at time of offence
  5. 5. Social Profile of New Clients from SDMD – 2010/11• 67% of individuals unemployed. 12% of individuals in paid or unpaid employment• 70% of people reported drug use funded by benefits. 22% reported funding drug use with crime. 15% reported funding drug use by debt• 41% had dependent children (16 and under)• 72% lived in owned or rented accommodation when they entered treatment. 12% reported they were homeless and 1% were in supported accommodation• 19% had previously been in prison
  6. 6. Main Strategies• Road to Recovery• Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol
  7. 7. Strategic Statement Supporting the development of Scotland’s Alcohol and Drug workforce 2010• Sets out the key competencies and skills of a widespread workforce• Identifies the important roles and responsibilities organisations and individuals play in the development of the drug and alcohol workforce
  8. 8. Social Work Research - 2011“Social workers are ideally placed to offer a holistic approach tounderstanding the relationships between a person’s substance use andtheir family, home and community” (source: Social Work Services andRecovery from Substance Misuse: A Review of the Evidence 2011)Research also highlighted:• Negative attitudes leading to stigmatisation of service users• Training can improve attitudes, knowledge and work in this area• To maintain change, training and support needs to be ongoing• Training has greater impact when social workers feel it is a legitimate part of their job• Range of educational barriers which need to be overcome• Situational constraints• Specialist substance misuse services –reported more positively about knowledge skills and support
  9. 9. Questions• Are you aware of the strategic statement? If so how has your area and you as an individual taken it forward?• Are you aware of the Research paper? If so how has your area and you as an individual taken it forward?• Do you agree that all social workers have a role in supporting people with drug and alcohol problems? If so what is this?• What support do you/they need from others to undertake this role effectively?