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Local Solutions, Healthy Lives: council’s role in drug and alcohol services

Case studies

Drug and alcohol dependency is a complex health disorder with social causes and consequences. No single factor can predict whether or not a person will become addicted.

Following the transfer of public health responsibilities to local government we welcome the increased emphasis on prevention and treatment. Local authorities work closely with their partners in the police, health system, probation and voluntary sector to responds to locally identified needs. These are the people best placed to identify the problems and work with local people to devise the solutions.

This resource commissioned by the Local Government Association describes how public health in a number of councils has started to use the opportunities of a local government setting to improve health and wellbeing. The case studies were chosen because they show a range of ways in which public health in councils is approaching drug and alcohol services. They include councils spread across England, covering both rural and urban environments and with varying levels of deprivation and affluence.

We look forward to seeing many more such examples of local energy and innovation in the months and years to come, and seeing the measurable impact it will have. The challenge for us all is not just to identify good practice, but to champion and share it.