Drug and alcohol misuse can cause a wide range of harm to the individual, their family and wider society. These harms include impact on the individual’s physical and mental health, unemployment, homelessness and criminal activity. There are also high economic and human costs associated with addiction.
This report will provide an overview of the scale of alcohol and drug addiction in Northern Ireland, the structures and systems in place within the health sector for tackling addiction, and the challenges faced by those accessing addiction services. Our report will consider:
- Expenditure on alcohol and drug services reflects the level of need;
- The barriers to accessing treatment services and what these might cost in the long term when other health and social costs are taken into account;
- Treatment services’ ability to meet the emerging and changing needs of service users;
- The need for a more joined up approach across service providers; and
- Whether decision makers have relevant and reliable management information on services on which to base decisions.