?Explore and analyse the HM Government’s current national drug policies and related initiatives in the context of the new 10 year Drug Strategy (2008-2018). You may wish to refer to the previous strategy (1998-2008) for an historical dimension. In this essay, firstly I will explore and analyse the HM Government’s current national drug policies and related initiatives in the context of the new 10 year Drug Strategy (2008-2018). When doing this I will take a look at the previous strategy (1998-2008) for an historical dimension.
The governments’ current national drug policies and related initiatives in the context of the new 10 year drug strategy (2008-2018) aim to reduce the harm that drugs cause, specifically to society, to communities, individuals and their families. The new 10 year drug strategy comprises of 4 strands of work. The 4 strands are, *Protecting communities through tackling drug supply, drug related crime and anti social behaviour. *Preventing harm to children, young people and families affected by drug misuse.
*Delivering new approaches to drug treatment and social re-integration. *Public information campaigns, communications and community engagement It appears that the new 10 year drug strategy continues on from the previous 10 year strategy. It is similar to the previous 10 year strategy in that its key focus is to reduce the harm that drugs cause to the same population target, namely society, communities, individuals and their families. However, there are also some differences between the previous strategy and the current 10 year strategy.
One explanation for this is that some of the goals of the 1998-2008 strategy have been achieved, thus the focus has been readjusted to target new initiatives, such as tackling drug supply and related criminal behaviour. Since 1998 far more funding has been invested in drug treatment in the UK, the effect of this has been that the percentage people, including young people, who use drugs, has fallen throughout the last 10 year plan. This is partly due to the fact that treatment has become a lot more accessible, particularly in terms of waiting times.
Whilst the previous 10 year plan was successful in terms of fast tracking people into treatment and cutting waiting times, the new 10 year plan is focusing more upon treatment outcomes, aiming to free a greater proportion of the drug using population from drug dependence and help reintegrate them into society, i. e. supporting them in coming off benefits and getting back into work. In line with focusing on the bigger picture, instead of concentrating on the individual drug user, the new 10 year strategy aims to look at the families and wider community.
The 2008-2018 drugs strategy, in my own opinion, highlights that the government has critically analysed the effectiveness of the previous drugs strategy and then broadened their horizons. The knowledge and education that came from the previous strategy has provided the government with invaluable experiences in which to build on their historic achievements. The new strategy aims to expand and go beyond the needs of the drug user, giving more consideration to the wider community.
The strategy has outlined that the way to achieve greater successes and learn from the last 10 years is to focus on the family unit, on communities, on targeting treatment outcomes and reintegration and ensuring that organisations work together to produce the most effective services available. I think the new strategy shows that the Government have put a lot of thought into their targets and how they are going to get positive outcomes and good results on getting to the heart of drug problems in communities.
The new 10 year strategy looks like a good plan of action that will have the support of the public, and represents a forward step by putting into place a good foundation and a strategic plan to tackle the problems. I shall now explore the 4 strands in more detail. In regard to the first strand of the policies, CJS, supply etc Specific example: One of the plans the government have put together is a plan to tackle the drug supply from street level dealing up (SLU). Street level dealing includes open dealing on the streets and dealing from business or residential premises.
Street level dealing can lead to rises in acquisitive crime, violence, gun crime, sex markets and begging, and associated criminality. It can also be a barrier to regeneration and renewal within communities. Dealing occurs in a number of settings. *on the street where dealers offer drugs or wait to be approached *meetings arranged via mobile phones *off the street, in pubs, cafes and private premises commonly known as crack houses. (http://drugs. homeoffice. gov. uk/reducing-supply/Strategy/street-level7fb8. html? version=3, January 2010). The police and their partners use a range of tools to tackle street dealing.
Enforcement is a key element. Working with key stakeholders linking enforcement with treatment, education and community engagement is likely to have more success and sustainability in the longer term. Street level up (SLU) is a new approach to tackling the supply of illegal drugs in England and Wales. It is designed to make a sustained impact on the illicit drugs trade and the criminals involved and to reduce the harm it causes to people and communities. It represents various organisations working together to lower instances of criminal behaviour and limiting the impact of the illegal drug trade in UK communities.
2nd strand, general then specific example: The next strand, is about children young people and their families affected by drug misuse. Although the home office reports that serious drug use by young people has stabilised over the last few years a real downward shift has still to be achieved. To do this the home office has been working closely with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Health on a new cross-government approach to young people and drugs which took off in 2005.
The central aim of the drug strategy is to prevent today’s young people becoming tomorrow’s problematic drug user’s. A key aim under the Every Child Matters be healthy outcome for children and young people is to encourage young people to choose not to take illegal drugs. To be effective in helping young people avoid drug problems the Government are focusing on the following objectives. *reforming delivery and strengthening accountability. * ensuring provision is built around the needs of vulnerable children and young people. *building service and workforce capacity.
(REFERENCE! ) One of the initiatives to help young people is called Positive Futures this is a national social inclusion programme using sport and leisure activities, to engage with disadvantaged and socially marginalised young people. Their aim is to have a positive influence on young peoples live’s by widening horizons and providing access to new opportunities within a culturally familiar environment. *we use sport and leisure activities as a catalyst to encourage project participation *we steer young people towards education, training and employment.
3rd strand: T he next strand is about drug treatment and social re-integration, and the government approach to this is to consider the social, psychological and medical needs of individuals and includes emphasis on helping people to become and remained stabilised in society. 4th strand: The 4th strand is about public information campaigns, communication and community engagement. The aims of the governments campaigns is to provide information about: *the government’s drug policy *what the drug strategy has achieved *the dangers of drug misuse *where to get help *drug legislation.
And the goverment’s key 2008 drug strategy communication actions are, *improve support and information for parents *extend the use of FRANK *develop better community-based communications *more national events This is where a change from the previous 10 year drug strategy has changed as the government s knowledge of effective communications has developed substantially since then, they are now offering credible and well used drug advice and information using the media most used by there target audience, (internet magazines and social networking sites).
Families and parents of drug misuse have been targeted this time instead of just the user, as the parents need to be educated on facts about drugs as to have a positive influence over their children in an informed way. Summary: One sentence summary. I feel the government has put a lot of thought and worked hard with a lot of other people, to put together a plan that can help drug mis- users and whole communities come together to help an work with each other for a better tomorrow.
Following on from the first part of my essay, I will now take a deeper look into the structure and roles of the key organisations involved in the new 10 year drug strategy. I will the explore how these authorities interpret and implement these strategies, and then I will include a description on the role of data management in the funding process. The National Treatment Agency (NTA) is a specialist health authority within the NHS, which was established in 2001 by the Government to improve the availability, scope and effectiveness of treatment for drug misuse.
The NTA is the leading decision maker when it comes to commissioning treatment services that really work. It is the NTAs job is to improve treatment for Drug Misuse in England. Ensuring that tax payers money is spent on expanding and running effective well managed and appropriate treatment. The NTAs chief responsibilities and to improve knowledge surrounding areas of need for drug treatment, promote best practice, share their knowledge, lend their guidance on effective practices and develop specialist courses to train workers within the treatment fraternity.
The NTA is constantly looking to expand their scope and address more of the source and impact of drug misuse. There are a variety of authorities and organisations that work with (and are represented) in the NTA (National Treatment Agency) that interpret and implement drug strategies and policies that are governed by the NTA and the Home Office. On a national level the NTA works directly with the Drugs Strategy Directorate within the Home Office who is responsible for the government’s drug strategy.
The NTA also works with other departments within the Home Office including the key criminal justice agencies - probation, police services, prison services and the youth justice board. The reason for the drug strategy directorate for working so closely with these key criminal justice agencies is to develop policies and approaches to improving treatment, particularly for offenders.