Turning Point Operations Director Darren Woodward addresses summit on drug and alcohol services

News item posted: 26 March 2015

Darren Woodward, Turning Point's Director of Operations for Substance Misuse, spoke this week at the conference 'Delivering Excellence in Drug and Alcohol Services', which was organised by Inside Government. 

The focus of his talk was integrated public health services, and particularly how drug and alcohol services can act as more effective elements of an integrated public health system.

70% of people who access Turning Point's substance misuse services have a diagnosed mental health issue, which may have as much, or even more impact on their quality of life as their substance misuse. On top of this, service users are more likely to smoke, and to have poor health in general, than those in the general population. Sustained recovery for individuals relies on services understanding these different needs, and how they contribute to each other, 

Services can only really support those with complex needs if they work together with other services that support an individual, to complement each other's work. This cannot be limited to simple willingness to share information, but must extend to pro-active co-operation, and a willingness to work together in each other's facilities, to make sure that individuals get all the help they need to recover.

Good examples of this can be seen in Turning Point's work with the police in Wakefield, with Universities in East Kent, with community groups in Thanet, and with NHS sexual health services in North London. We're working to make partnerships like these the norm, and build substance misuse services that not only address the immediate needs of the individual, but focus on improving their health and wellbeing as well.