Solent NHS TrustHigh quality community and mental health services

Help for addicted inmates

Published: 23/03/2011

Helping prisoners fight drug and alcohol addictions

News Release

A project aimed at helping inmates at Winchester Prison fight substance misuse will be launched on Thursday (1 July) by Solent Healthcare, local provider of community and mental health services.

The Integrated Drug Treatment System (IDTS) will increase the range of options to drug and alcohol services available to prisoners. This will in turn reduce levels of reoffending when released. It will be delivered by Solent Healthcare’s Substance Misuse Service, working alongside The Practice PLC, a group of doctors with vast experience of working in a prison setting.

IDTS Coordinator, Lawrence Taylor, said, “By expanding the quantity and quality of treatment and offering tailormade programmes, we will make substantive gains. This will reduce levels of reoffending by problematic drug users, reduce drug-related deaths and harm, both in custody and after release, and importantly reduce the supply of illicit drugs in prisons.

“It really is important that at last we are able to offer prisoners the same standard of treatment afforded to those in the community to improve their health and an opportunity to find a way out of the system to lead meaningful, value creative lives. The authorities at Winchester Prison have been really progressive and have shown great determination in wanting to make a change to prisoners’ lives. They deserve to be highly commended for this approach.”

The service will be housed on two floors in a refurbished wing in the prison and will have a dedicated workforce made up of a core detox team, nurses and support staff.

IDTS will also work in partnership with the prison; Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare (CARATS); Drug Interventions Programmes, the Probation service and with all the community treatment providers to improve the continuity and consistency of care for drug users, both on their entry and on their release from custody.

“Working in collaboration with service user groups, carers, and prison patients is vital to bringing to an end the vicious cycle of drugs-crime-prison. Our aim is to work closely with all agencies involved in tackling the harm associated with drug taking,” said Lawrence.


Notes for Editors:

The Substance Misuse Service is an established provider which has pioneered groundbreaking tradition, over the past 40 years, of specialising in drug and alcohol treatment at the sharp end of addiction and recovery. It is also the first NHS community detox provision in the UK

The service currently delivers drug and alcohol services in three community teams in Portsmouth and southeast Hampshire; an in-patient detoxification unit in St James’ Hospital (Baytrees); a psychosocial counselling service, and specialist treatment services for young people in Portsmouth and Southampton City.

Solent Healthcare was created on 1 April 2010 through the integration of Southampton Community Healthcare and Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services

It is hosted by Southampton City Primary Care Trust and provides community health services throughout Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire

For more information please contact Elton Dzikiti, Assistant Communications Manager, Solent Healthcare on 023 8060 8934

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