This month we were pleased to see the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report into homelessness and drug misuse. This report found that there is increased risk of problematic drug use associated with people who experience homelessness. There is a higher rate of drug-related deaths, infections among people who inject drugs, and multiple morbidities. People who experience homelessness and use substances have particularly complex circumstances and additional risks which require intensive long-term support. An integrated health, social care, and community care approach to the recovery and housing needs of people who are homeless would provide the optimal model of service delivery. This must include a focus on safe, stable housing and evidence-based harm reduction initiatives.
Our work on two major nationally important evaluations, concerning supporting people with lived experience of homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues and offending concurs with the findings of this report. These evaluations are: (1) the national evaluation of the Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) approach, and (2) the longitudinal evaluation of the Big Lottery Fund’s Blackpool Fulfilling Lives programme.
In these evaluations we have taken innovative, bespoke, participatory and co-productive approaches working with people with lived experience to design, conduct, analyse and disseminate findings. This month we have released a blog and podcast which covers elements of this approach. We’d recommend both to our reader.
Download the Pulse below.