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Social Research

Evaluation of the implementation of the substance misuse strategy for Wales

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  • Release date: 10 June 2013
The strategy covers use of alcohol, illicit and licit drugs within its remit and one of its key objectives is to reduce the harm associated with substance misuse.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the implementation of 'Working Together to Reduce Harm: The Substance Misuse Strategy for Wales 2008-2018' during its first three years of operation. Four priority action areas are identified in the Strategy: preventing harm; support for substance misusers; supporting and protecting families; and tackling availability.

The main aims of the evaluation were to determine whether and to what extent:

  • all aspects of the Strategy had been implemented
  • the intention to provide “wrap around services” had been fully implemented
  • good practice had been followed
  • resources had been allocated effectively
  • statistics were being used effectively to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment agencies
  • there was evidence of reductions in harm arising from the implementation of the Strategy.

The evaluation used a mixed methods approach, which included: a review of policy documents and reports, a focused review of the literature on ‘what works’ in relation to substance misuse, scrutiny of the Welsh National Database for Substance Misuse (including Treatment Outcome Profile data), analysis of previous evaluations, and formal recorded interviews with 52 key stakeholders in Wales.

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