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Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

There has been an increase in the prevalence of drug use (opiate, crack and other drugs) and 25% of men and 17% of women in the city are drinking above safe limits. The drugs and alcohol needs assessment is compiled using data from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) and the Birmingham Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) database following the guidance of the central government Drug Strategy 2010.

Looking at national and local data, key needs identified were:

  1. There has been a fall in the number of opiate users in drug treatment but there has been an increase in opiate and crack users from the previous year
  2. There is a link between particularly groups and drug use, particularly white people (although there is an increase in BME users), unemployed people, people living in deprived areas and homeless people
  3. The completion of drug treatment has decreased and the numbers completing alcohol treatment are low, with clients travelling outside of their wards to receive treatment
  4. Drug use is changing into a more complex and frequently shifting pattern; cannabis and legal highs have become a more significant issue
  5. All service providers should use a single case management system and a classification system to ensure the pathways of clients runs smoothly from treatment to recovery

Gaps in the knowledge

  • Data is inconsistent as figures do not always match anecdotal evidence from drugs workers
  • There is a lack of research on the health effects (including mental health) of drug and alcohol misuse in adults, the number of indirect deaths is increasing
  • There may be barriers for Black and Asian communities to access treatment
  • Lack of data on “legal highs”