Report: Health services and changing patterns of drug use

A report said that drug use in the United Kingdom was changing, with increasingly available novel psychoactive substances (often referred to as ‘legal highs’), increasing numbers of people presenting for treatment for problems associated with ‘club drug’ use, and health services that were not adequately equipped to address the serious harms caused by these new patterns.

The report considered the related issues, and made recommendations for changes, including:

  • service improvements to make provision for new patterns of drug use, including staff training and development based on the sharing and development of new clinical knowledge;
  • more joined up services, based on better recording of data across the health services;
  • the promotion of research into new drug substances;
  • improvement of drugs awareness and harm reduction messages for the general public, targeted in ‘at risk’ locations and environments.