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Ignoring the hiatus created by the forthcoming Christmas break and the inevitable winding down and winding up periods, the User Centred Drug Services Project has wrapped itself around the holiday and has planned a series of exciting events that will bring together the broadest range of stakeholders you can think of.

Ignoring the hiatus created by the forthcoming Christmas break and the inevitable winding down and winding up periods, the User Centred Drug Services Project has wrapped itself around the holiday and has planned a series of exciting events that will bring together the broadest range of stakeholders you can think of.

As you may know, the project is working in Bognor Regis and Crawley in West Sussex.  Why?  Well, the area encompasses a mix of coastal, rural and urban environments.  Bognor Regis, the mid-West Sussex rural belt, and the Broadfield Estates in Crawley offer a rich diversity from which to learn from. Working in these areas also allows us to consider different supply and demand dynamics, both open and more closed drug markets, rural access problems, and ethnic diversity.  And it seems that the county has an average number of problem drug users, with around half of those referred to treatment reporting opiate problems, a quarter cocaine (unspecified) problems, and about one fifth cannabis problems. The area therefore provides a typical sense of scale and distribution of problem substances.  So that’s why.

The first events will be a series of local workshops delivered locally in Bognor Regis and Crawley.  These events will bring together a range former and current drug and alcohol users, service providers, local community groups, local government and local council, community members, GPs, academics, policy makers and RSA Fellows, to help thrash out some of the findings from the initial primary research carried out in September.

These workshops will also develop the local messages that will inform one of the RSA’s most ambitious events, the Route Maps to Recovery Symposium planned for the 18th January 2010.  

From in depth primary research, more than 150 drug and alcohol users have told us what they want from a comprehensive service, when they need it and how it should be delivered.  They have described what would make them engage more, what would help prevent relapse, who they would want to speak with, how their families and friends might be involved, where they would want to go, who they would want to go with, what barriers exist, what the opportunities are, what is missing and what will help them to stay on the road to recovery.

Using this information we want to design the operating system that could support this and to develop a broad, non-exhaustive menu of new service ideas and support add-ons for delivering personalised, expansive and joined up services that will deliver to user needs and aspirations.   We hope that these events will help us do just this!

Want to be involved?  Click here to find out how.

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