Messages for health professionals & policymakers
NOTE: Quotes are presented word for word apart from minor editing for readability and clarity. Identifying details have been removed. Square brackets show text that has been added, e.g. ‘I want to maintain [my current level of drug use]’. Ellipses within square brackets […] show where text has been removed, e.g. ‘Counselling was good but […] I would have liked more information about other treatment options’.
The people whose stories are presented on this website share their messages for policymakers and health professionals. Drawing on their own experiences, they identify gaps in alcohol and other drug services and possible barriers to accessing services. They make suggestions for improving treatment and harm reduction services such as ensuring wider access to services, improving drug education and addressing the stigma surrounding drug use. Some highlight the need for culturally accessible services. Several question the effectiveness of prohibitionist drug laws and call for drug law reform, with some expressing support for the legalisation of cannabis.
Participants suggest a range of ways alcohol and other drug services and allied health services could be improved. Suggestions include ensuring treatment addresses the many different aspects of life that shape consumption, developing more peer-led services, expanding pharmacotherapy programs and providing better continuity of care (see also Consumption in everyday life, Pharmacotherapy/medication treatment and Residential treatment).
Improving access to information & addressing the context of consumption
Lala (F, 35, works in health services, cannabis) highlights the need for person-centred care, which addresses the ‘emotional and spiritual’ aspects of life that shape drug use. (Played by an actor)