Westminster Social Policy Forum

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Tackling drug dependence and improving delivery of services - assessing the independent review of drugs and the UK Government’s Strategy

Morning, Wednesday, 9th February 2022


This conference will examine policy priorities for tackling drug dependence, and is timed as an opportunity to discuss the long-term strategy that the UK Government has committed to developing by the end of the year.


Delegates will consider these issues in the context of the Independent Review of Drugs and the subsequent response from the Government, looking at what is needed for taking the Review’s recommendations forward and how they can inform the Government’s long-term strategy.


Discussion is also expected to look at priorities for the strategy following the Review and how best to improve society’s response to drug dependence, ensure access to quality prevention, treatment, and recovery support, and enable the swift recovery of services in the wake of the pandemic.


We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Professor Dame Carol Black, Review lead, Independent Review of Drugs; Dr Keith Humphreys, Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University; Advisor to the Independent Review of Drugs; and former drug policy advisor to President Barack Obama; and Rosanna O’Connor, Director, Addictions & Inclusion, Office of Health Improvement & Disparities, Department of Health and Social Care.


Further areas for discussion include:

  • the future of treatment and recovery services - what more can be done to link services and learn from best practice across other sectors, including mental health, housing, employment, and criminal justice
  • improving prevention and early intervention services:
    • tackling health and societal inequalities
    • addressing underlying mental health triggers and the root causes of drug dependence
    • the role of education campaigns and early intervention in identifying and treating at-risk groups
  • implementation of the Government’s long-term strategy and policy priorities for supporting people through treatment and recovery, disrupting criminal supply chains, and tackling drug demand

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the DHSC; HMPPS; HMRC; NAO; The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.



Keynote Speakers

Dr Keith Humphreys

Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University; Advisor to the Independent Review into Drug Misuse; and former drug policy advisor to President Barack Obama

Rosanna O'Connor

Director, Addictions & Inclusion, Office of Health Improvement & Disparities, Department of Health and Social Care

Keynote Speakers

Professor Dame Carol Black

Review lead, Independent Review of Drugs

Dr Keith Humphreys

Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University; Advisor to the Independent Review into Drug Misuse; and former drug policy advisor to President Barack Obama

Rosanna O'Connor

Director, Addictions & Inclusion, Office of Health Improvement & Disparities, Department of Health and Social Care

Chairs

Crispin Blunt MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform

Baroness Meacher

Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform

Speakers

Professor Sir John Strang

Head of Department, National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London

Dave Higham

Chief Executive and Founder, The Well Communities

Michaela Jones

Lived Experience Officer, Scottish Recovery Consortium

Jason Harwin

Deputy Chief Constable, Lincolnshire Police; and Drugs Lead, National Police Chief’s Council

Kirsty Day

Head of Recovery Services, Nelson Trust

Nuno Albuquerque

Head of Treatment, UK Addiction Treatment Group

Mark Johnson

Founder, User Voice

Niamh Eastwood

Executive Director, Release

Dan Carden MP

Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Alcohol Harm; and Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children of Alcoholics

Danny Hames

Head of Inclusion, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Sonia Humphreys

Detective Chief Inspector, Local Serious and Organised Crime Team, Safeguarding & Investigations and Head of Drugs Taskforce, Norfolk Constabulary

Duncan Hill

Specialist Pharmacist in Substance Misuse, NHS Lanarkshire; and Honorary Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, University of Strathclyde