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Are you equipped to tackle synthetic drug use?

In November last year HMI Probation published a joint report with the Care Quality Commission which found that better training and information sharing between agencies was needed to support clients addicted to synthetic drugs.

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) – as they are also known – were banned in 2016 after concerns about the rising number of deaths associated to their use; however they are still readily available on the streets and on the web. They are more affordable than other illegal drugs, and their proliferation has changed the drug scene in the UK.

Without real data collection on the use of synthetic drugs, it’s hard to build a clear picture of trends. However, the records that are kept indicate they are used largely by the homeless community and by other vulnerable people, including those who offend.

The report authors, Dame Glenys Stacey and Ursula Gallagher said: “We undertook this inspection primarily to identify good probation practice in tackling NPS use, given the rising concerns about its use among offenders. We did not find many examples of effective probation practice, but we did find some good initiatives by local partners.”

They went on to say: “While the police, health and local authorities were developing appropriate strategic responses, probation providers were not generally at the table. The National Probation Service and CRCs need to work more closely with partners to tackle NPS use. Even where probation providers had local NPS strategies in place, however, these were not implemented in the cases we saw. Probation providers need to make sure their people know what is expected.”

Do you feel equipped to deal with clients / families presenting with issues that result from their synthetic drug use? Have your say here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HYSFeb

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