Change Grow Live statement in response to the 2018 drug related deaths statistics
Those reading this may already be aware of the rise in drug-related deaths in England and Wales. It should never be forgotten that each and every life lost is a tragedy, which has a profound and lasting impact on families and communities.
As a national public health crisis, drug-related deaths deserve greater political attention, both at a local and national level. These deaths are preventable and investment to address the root causes of this crisis would save lives in the future.
We know that drug-related deaths are linked to age and complicated by health conditions. Poverty, deprivation, homelessness and mental health conditions all increase the chances of a life lost to drugs. That is why we need investment in substance misuse services that support people to improve their physical and mental health.
Working with our partners, we are fully committed to offering comprehensive care and supporting our service users to be healthier and happier. This includes providing medical help and opportunities for housing, volunteering, training and meaningful work. We are determined to deliver individualised support, recognising that every person has unique strengths and abilities.
The number of people who go on to leave treatment and live drug-free is an important measure of success, but saving lives must be the paramount priority. Our staff are working tirelessly around the country to ensure vulnerable people are kept alive and safe, so that they have a chance at a better life.
We continue to prioritise the national distribution of life-saving naloxone kits. In the last year alone, more than 1,500 lives have potentially been saved through naloxone. We are, and will never stop, working to ensure this life-saving drug, as well as rapid access to evidence-based medication-assisted treatment, are available to everyone who might need it.
There are things we can all do to help save lives. We are calling on everyone to share our #EveryLifeMatters campaign, as well as our advice for anyone who is using drugs or concerned about someone else’s drug use. This is a national public health crisis and action is needed. Our message to any person or organisation that can prevent another drug related death is simple – we are ready to work with you.
Our message to anyone struggling with drugs or alcohol is simple - Change Grow Live believes in you and we are here to help.