This report presents the findings of a short study to evaluate broadly the implementation to date of Working Together to Reduce Harm: The Substance Misuse Strategy for Wales 2008-2018. The strategy covers use of alcohol, illicit and licit (prescribed and over-the-counter) drugs within its remit, and emphasises that the harmful use of alcohol in Wales is far more widespread than that of illegal drugs. Its dominant focus is the reduction of harm associated with substance misuse. Four priority action areas are identified in the Strategy: preventing harm; support for substance misusers; supporting and protecting families; and tackling availability. In short, in terms of what can be said with confidence about the effectiveness of the implementation of the Strategy, the list is rather short. It is clear from WNDSM data that waiting times for assessment and treatment have reduced, and from TOP data that, among those entering treatment, there have been at least short-term improvements in alcohol and drug use, physical and psychological health, and quality of life, although large amounts of missing data call these findings into some question. The available published research also contains a few positive findings, especially short-term reductions in substance misuse and progress in relation to social problems, but again caveats must be entered because of weaknesses in data and methodology. The overall conclusion has to be that the whole area of data collection, monitoring and evaluation is one that needs close and systematic attention. Indeed, it could be argued that a planned programme of research and evaluation should be built into the Strategy and its Implementation Plans.
|Commissioning body||Welsh Assembly Government|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Jun 2013|
|Name||Social Research 28/2013|
- substance misuse strategy
- drug misuse