Tackling drug dependence and improving delivery of services - assessing the independent review of drugs and the UK Government’s Strategy

Online, United Kingdom,

This conference will examine policy priorities for tackling drug dependence and is a timely opportunity to discuss the long-term strategy that the UK Government unveiled in early December.

Delegates will consider these issues in the context of the Independent Review of Drugs and the published response from the Government, looking at the Review’s recommendations and the Government’s new strategy and what is needed to take them forward.

Discussion is also expected to look at priorities for the government following the strategy’s publication and how best to improve society’s response to drug dependence, ensure access to quality prevention, treatment, and recovery support, and enable the swift recovery of services in the context of the pandemic.

The conference will include keynote sessions with Professor Dame Carol Black, Review lead, Independent Review of Drugs; Dr Keith Humphreys, Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University; Advisor to the Independent Review of Drugs; and former drug policy advisor to President Barack Obama; and Rosanna O’Connor, Director, Addictions & Inclusion, Office of Health Improvement & Disparities, Department of Health and Social Care.

Further areas for discussion include:

  • the future of treatment and recovery services - what more can be done to link services and learn from best practice across other sectors, including mental health, housing, employment, and criminal justice
  • improving prevention and early intervention services:
    • tackling health and societal inequalities
    • addressing underlying mental health triggers and the root causes of drug dependence
    • the role of education campaigns and early intervention in identifying and treating at-risk groups
  • implementation of the Government’s published strategy and policy priorities for supporting people through treatment and recovery, disrupting criminal supply chains, and tackling drug demand

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the DHSC; the DWP; HMPPS; HMRC; HM Treasury; the Home Office; the NAO; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.

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