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Substance Misuse Services in Wales – March 2012

A review of the provision of Substance Misuse Services across Wales.

The review sought to answer two fundamental questions:

  • Are substance misuse services meeting the needs of all substance misusers? and
  • Are families of substance misusers getting the support that they need?

During the review we heard from service users themselves about their own experiences and worked together with service providers, statutory bodies and commissioners to explore how agencies and services work together to support service users and their families.

We found that there are some excellent, innovative and successful substance misuse services in Wales and a tireless and passionate workforce driving improvement forward.

However, although we highlighted an improving picture overall, services across Wales remain patchy, and more needs to be done to make services consistent and sustainable.

Perhaps most fundamentally, we found that because of the association between substance misuse and crime and often stereotypical views of who substance misusers are; stigma and substance misuse remains closely linked. To reduce the barriers to individuals coming forward to receive treatment and to drive improvement in the treatment individuals receive there is a need to collectively tackle attitudes across society.