Drugs and alcohol services in Leeds to focus on recovery

Leeds City Council is reviewing its alcohol and drugs strategy in line with changes to national and local strategies.

The review of all commissioned drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services is currently being undertaken to ensure that there is a greater focus on recovery from substance misuse in Leeds and with a view to ensuring better value for money and integration of high quality services.

In November 2013, the council’s executive board agreed the draft drugs and alcohol strategy with a view to looking at how new services could be delivered in the city.

At a meeting of the council’s executive board today (Wednesday 22 January) members gave approval to proceed with re-commissioning of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services to bring about the new service.

Key findings from the review to date show that the age profile and substance misuse habits of drug users in Leeds is changing and becoming more complex with an ageing population and an increasing proportion of people in treatment for drugs. The treatment system and the process of making referrals in Leeds is quite complex and may be limiting the outcome for people in treatment.

The new service will be focussed on recovery but retains a focus on harm reduction and includes treatment provision for a full range of people. This includes treatment for both drugs and alcohol. The service needs to be well integrated and offer easy access for adults and children and young people. needing treatment from a range of routes.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council executive board member for health and wellbeing said:

“We are aware of the need to invest in treatment and recovery services for drugs and alcohol abuse in the city.

“The consequences of addition can blight, individuals, families and communities. A new recovery0based approach to dealing with addiction will lead to improved health outcomes and a positive impact on communities in terms of reduced crime levels and fewer children having to be taken into care.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“Our ambition in Leeds is to be a city that promotes a responsible attitude to alcohol and offers the right and effective help to those people who need it.

“We have carried out a full review of our services and spoken to our service users to ensure we are able to provide a new service which will better meet the needs of people in the city.”

Information about current services is available at: http://www.leedsletschange.co.uk/pages/alcohol-services-what-is-happening-near-me

For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk