The UK consists of four countries, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, each with its own distinct culture and history. Patterns of substance use and problem use differ across the four countries as do the precise details of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery service provision. However, in all four countries, people with substance use problems have free access to services and to a range of groups providing support for recovery. Services are delivered by a range of practitioners in such fields as nursing, social work, counselling, criminal justice, medical, public health, youth work and teaching, among others. In recent years, increasing value has been placed on engaging ‘experts by experience’ - people with lived/ living experience of problem drug and alcohol use and drawing them into the system of service delivery as peer mentors, volunteers and paid workers.
The UK Chapter will foster the production and dissemination of research relevant to policy and practice and will promote co-production in research processes through the involvement of practitioners and experts by experience. This will link with the delivery of training and knowledge exchange events to further the aims of building capacity and developing professional competency.