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Alcohol & Other Drugs: Essential Information for Social Workers

Social workers are in the front line of health and social care services. Alcohol and other drug use can play a significant role in the lives of people who receive social work services. Service recipients have the right to professional social care, delivered by well-trained, well-supervised workers. Social workers should be able to intervene confidently and effectively where they encounter alcohol and drug issues. Alcohol and other drug problems have not always been high on the social work agenda. It is now recognised that core social work skills are ideally suited for work with people’s alcohol and drug use. Language: people seeking help for these issues may be described as being in ‘Recovery’. N.B. this does not always mean they are or need to be abstinent.

This pocket guide seeks to support social workers to take professional responsibility for ensuring their knowledge and skills meet the needs of service recipients with alcohol and drug problems.