More treatment, less crime: introducing drug testing on arrest (DToA) into a low crime drug & alcohol recovery partnership.
PHE ePoster Library. Connor M. Sep 12, 2017; 186468; 217
Marc Connor
Marc Connor
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Abstract Introduction - Drugs and crime are linked and the point of arrest has been identified as a key moment to initiate a drug-specific intervention. The DToA intervention was introduced to strengthen existing health and justice drug recovery care pathways and to divert previously hidden groups of opiate and/or crack cocaine misusers (OCU) into drug treatment. Methods - As the DToA intervention progressed from pilot to partnership wide status, our mixed methods evaluation; quantitatively assessed its impact by way of a year on year comparison of the process and outcome performance outputs and qualitatively explored client/professional expectations and perceptions of the scheme via a series semi-structured interviews. Results - Introduction of DToA led to more treatment naïve people being assessed, referred to and engaged with effective drug treatment. People were generally positive about the intervention, reporting that benefits outweighed negative perceptions. Importantly, DToA strengthened our local understandings of the links between drugs and crime and reinforced the negative consequences of drugs misuse within this complex and vulnerable group. Conclusions - These mutually supportive quantitative and qualitative findings indicate that the DToA intervention positively contributed towards drug recovery system performance activities and lead to improved client health/crime outcomes. Public health commissioners operating in low crime areas may wish to adopt DToA as a practicable and cost effective addition to their drug recovery strategies. External funding details This research was funded by the UK Home Office via the Police Innovation Fund
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