Issue - meetings

Adults who misuse drugs - the findings of a health needs assessment in Bromley 2017

Meeting: 06/03/2018 - Public Protection and Enforcement Policy Development & Scrutiny Committee (Item 82)


Additional documents:


ES 18023


The report dealing with adults who misuse drugs was written by Helen Buttivant, LBB Consultant in Public Health.


The report had been drafted to provide the Committee with the findings of a health needs assessment concerning the population of adults in Bromley that had issues with problematic drug use.


No decision was required by the Committee or the Portfolio Holder—the report had been submitted to the Committee for information only. The report was part of the JSNA (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment). 


The Committee was informed that Bromley had the 7th lowest estimated rate of opiate and or crack use in the region. However much of the other data revealed in the report gave the Committee cause for concern.


·  The estimated consumption rate for opiate and/or crack use in young people in Bromley (aged 15-24) was higher than the national average


·  Opiate and or crack misuse was also rising in the older population


·  The rate of hospital admissions for substance misuse in young people in Bromley was significantly higher than the national average


·  In 2016/17 there were 100 children living in the Borough who were known to be living with people known to be misusing drugs


It was noted that hospital admission rates for substance misuse in Bromley correlated positively with levels of socioeconomic deprivation. Another cause for concern was that although the illicit use of drugs was increasing, the number of people entering treatment was decreasing. The Committee was also concerned to learn that the estimated level of unmet need in Bromley was much higher than the national average and that 63% of drug users in Bromley were not known to treatment services. A further cause for concern was that Bromley had a higher proportion (37%) of new clients presenting with a co-occurring mental health condition—the average for the rest of England was 24%. 


The Committee noted that people also presented to drug treatment services with problems related to prescription drugs, and over the counter medication. The lowest proportion of successful treatment for drug misuse was in connection with opiate abuse.


The Committee was appraised that the estimated socio-economic costs for drug misuse in England was estimated at £10.7 billion. The Committee heard that drug misuse was a cause and consequence of wider factors which included physical and mental health as well as other determinants.


The report noted that the proportion of people in treatment with entrenched dependence and complex needs, particularly heroin users, would increase. It was also expected that the number of deaths of older heroin users was also going to rise.


Ms Buttivant explained to Members that the report that was being presented to them would be analysed. Out of this, recommendations would be provided to inform the planned procurement of substance misuse services for adults, children and young people in Bromley in 2018.


The Committee heard that unemployment and housing problems had a marked negative effect on treatment outcomes, and that these factors would exacerbate the risk that someone would relapse after treatment.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82


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