Good practice and research

Peer support and lived experience

Research about Recovery by People in Recovery (Best and Colleagues)(April 2022)
The international recovery advocacy (and peer recovery support) movement is marked by the proliferation of grassroots recovery community organizations (RCOs) that are distinct from traditional addiction treatment organizations and recovery mutual aid societies. … Efforts in the UK involving people in recovery in the conduct and dissemination of such research are particularly noteworthy. The blog below by David Best and colleagues highlights the remarkable efforts of the College of Lived Experience Recovery Organisation (CLERO) | William L White papers, USA

Peers who volunteer (November 2021)
This guide sets out best practice in supporting peer volunteers. It has been derived from and informed by the lived experience of more than 250 peer volunteers  | Peer Volunteers, UK

The Scottish Recovery Network resources (2021-2022)
The Scottish Recovery network has developed a host of recovery resources including a guide for running online peer support groups, animations, films and activity to be used when engaging in peer to peer recovery work.

Scoping project: A peer-based needle exchange service in London (PDF) (January 2022)
This report explores the feasibility, acceptability, and practical considerations of developing a peer-based needle exchange service. It draws on focus groups with people who use needle exchange services and peer support workers, interviews with experts from services and commissioning bodies, and international evidence | LJWG, UK

‘Stand up and tell me your story’ – SHAAP report on lived experience (February 2020)
Alcohol and Drug Partnerships should be encouraged and supported to develop policies and practices across the communities for which they are responsible to engage with lived experience as a core ‘modus operandi’ embedded throughout systems | SHAAP, UK

Peer-delivered harm reduction and recovery support services: initial evaluation from a hybrid recovery community drop-in center and syringe exchange program (2018)
Results suggest that recovery community organizations are well situated and staffed to also provide harm reduction services, such as syringe exchange programs. Given the relationship between engagement and participant housing, criminal justice status, and previous health diagnosis, recommendations for service delivery include additional education and outreach for homeless, justice-involved, LatinX, and LGBTQ+ identifying individuals | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

Best practice guides and standards for services

Phase One Report: Good Practice Guide for pathways into, through and out of Residential Rehabilitation in Scotland (PDF) (November 2021)
This report covers all aspects of the rehabilitation process from assessment to aftercare, and provides examples of good practice | Scottish Government, UK

Injecting Equipment Provision in Scotland – Good Practice Guidance (PDF) (October 2021)
This publication has been produced to offer guidance to local planners, commissioners, service providers and other stakeholders on how best injecting equipment provision and related harm reduction interventions may be developed and delivered in response to the local need and situation | SDF, UK

Needle and Syringe Provision: Minimum Standards Checklist (PDF) (September 2021)
These minimum standards aim to ensure full and equitable reach of comprehensive harm reduction services to all who use substances | Humankind, UK

Phoenix Futures guide to recovery friendly language (2021) (PDF)
This guide is aimed at people who work with people who use drugs and alcohol, the media, professionals, and the general public. It aims to reduce the stigma and discrimination of people who use drugs and alcohol, which can create barriers to them accessing treatment | Phoenix Futures, UK

A system designed for women? Understanding the barriers women face in accessing drug treatment and support services (2021)
The aim of this research is to explore what type of support is available to women who use drugs, their experiences of treatment and ultimately, how services can be improved to support these women | With You, UK

Working with people with substance use and mental health issues: a good practice guide (PDF) (2020)
This resource pack has been written to support the development of services for people with coexisting mental health and substance use problems. At the heart of the resource pack is a series of case studies showing how particular services have implemented good practice | Turning Point, UK

Creating positive life opportunities: why invest in residential services? (PDF) (2020)
This guide explores how residential services for people with multiple needs offer treatment effectiveness, and cost efficiencies, by providing a phased and coordinated care plan in one treatment journey and enabling access to multiple specialist health and social care services in one location | Phoenix Futures, UK

Needle and Syringe Exchange: Public Health Guidance (Checked 2019)
This guidance makes recommendations on the setting up and managing of needle and syringe programmes, including those provided by pharmacies and drugs services for adults and young people (including those under 16) who inject drugs, including image- and performance-enhancing drugs | NICE, UK

Clinical guidelines and toolkits

National Wound Care Guide: An introduction to recognising and assessing common wounds and injecting injuries in people who inject drugs (PDF) (2022)
This resource aims to help people working within harm reduction and injection equipment provision (IEP) services, and anyone who works with people who inject drugs, to assess injection sites and identify potential complications arising from injecting street drugs | SDF, UK

Predicting Risk in Drinkers: Drinking and You (PRIDDY) Toolkit (2021)
This toolkit is designed to help workers identify individual risk factors that may suggest a person is more likely to experience harm from alcohol. The PRIDDY Toolkit brings the evidence base together into one tool and will equip workers to deliver more personalised and meaningful advice | Humankind, UK

HIV: What Workers Need To Know (PDF) (2021)
This resource aims to inform staff across Scotland of HIV and the outbreak affecting people who inject drugs. It aims to increase workers knowledge of preventing HIV, understanding how treatment works and increase your confidence to support people at risk or living with HIV | SDF, UK

Evidence-based and theoretically informed recommendations for scaling up HCV testing and treatment for people who inject drugs (2021)
This guide is primarily intended for clinical leads, health practitioners, NGOs, third-sector agencies, community and patient groups, senior policy-makers and commissioners who are responsible for scaling up HCV testing and treatment in their local or national context for those who are at risk of infection through injecting drug use. In particular, we provide recommendations for the following community based settings: Enhanced needle and syringe programmes, pharmacies, drug treatment clinics in community, and prisons | Glasgow Caledonian University et al, UK

Public health guidance on prevention and control of blood-borne viruses in prison settings (2018)
This evidence-based guidance aims to support the planning and implementation of effective programmes to prevent and control the transmission of infectious diseases in prison settings in the European region. It focuses on three high-burden blood-borne viruses (BBV) in the prison population, namely hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodefciency virus (HIV) | ECDC and EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management (Orange guidelines) (2017)
These guidelines are intended primarily for clinicians providing drug treatment for people who misuse or are dependent on drugs. Clinicians in this context are psychiatrists and other doctors, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, keyworkers and other workers providing drug treatment, as well as health and social care professionals | DoH et al, UK

National membership bodies

Collective voice
Collective Voice is a national membership organisation for those in the drug and alcohol treatment field. Their aims are to:

  • Tirelessly advocate for the needs of people who use drugs and alcohol by influencing partners in central and local government, the media, and allied organisations.
  • Coordinate and lead campaigns, alliances, projects and events within our sector and with wider partners.
  • Promote the value brought by the voluntary sector to treatment and wider support.

Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA)
The mission of the SSA is to broaden and promote the scientific understanding of addiction. They particularly aim to help clinicians and policy makers get research evidence into practice.

Guidance from overseas

Impacts of overdose: Evaluating the effects of grief and loss from overdose on people who inject drugs and developing an intervention to address them (2022)
Helping people who inject drugs build resilience in their communities amidst ongoing grief and loss of people close to them | MAP Center for Urban Health Solutions, Canada

International Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders (March 2020)
These standards provide key principles for organizing treatment services for drug use disorders and describe the main components of treatment systems, including treatment settings, modalities and interventions. Additionally, they include considerations for populations with special treatment and care needs | WHO, USA

Research summaries and journal articles

European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Best Practice Portal
The EMCDDA contains a huge amount of information on drugs and their use across Europe. It includes a Best Practice Portal designed to help you find practical and reliable information on what works (and what doesn’t) in the areas of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social reintegration

Drug and Alcohol Findings
Drug and Alcohol Findings bridged the divide between UK-relevant research on the effectiveness of responses to drug and alcohol problems and the practitioners who provide those interventions. From 1 May 2021 Drug and Alcohol Findings ceased routinely generating and issuing new analyses of research. This function has been taken up by the Society for the Study of Addiction.

Recovery Research Institute
The Recovery Research Institute is a nonprofit research institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, dedicated to the advancement of addiction treatment and recovery. Their mission is to the public health impact of addiction recovery science through the summary, synthesis, and dissemination of scientific findings and the conduct of novel research.

JSAT Call for Papers: Lived Experience
A monthly recurring section called “Lived Experience” seeks short, narrative, non-fiction that has implications for the care of persons with SUD. Of particular interest are pieces that honour stories of addiction and recovery, mitigate stigma through a humanized portrayal of persons, families and caregivers affected by SUD, raise issues of social justice and inequity, explore the dynamics of patient-clinician relationships, and foster compassionate engagement with people with SUD

Please contact Jackie if you know of a resource we should include here.

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