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Drug & Alcohol Strategy

The Drug and Alcohol Strategy 2015 - 2020 was approved by the States of Guernsey in January 2015.

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In 2007, the States of Guernsey adopted a five-year Drug and Alcohol Strategy, ("the Strategy") with the vision of minimising the harm caused by drug and alcohol misuse to Bailiwick residents of all ages. The Strategy has enabled the States, and its core partners in the third sector, to:-

  • take a structured and prioritised approach to providing adequate education in respect of the risks of drug and alcohol misuse across the community,

  • respond robustly to emerging trends, and

  • provide support and assistance to those islanders, and their families, troubled by addiction.


Such co-ordinated service delivery aligned to a centralised strategy is of vital importance in order to preserve the wellbeing of Islanders and to meet the States' government objectives to maintain a safe and healthy Bailiwick.

The Strategy Structure

The 2015-2020 Strategy aims to build upon the successes of the previous Strategy, focusing the efforts of government, public services and community partners to tackle drug and alcohol misuse in ways appropriate to the Bailiwick setting, through the following areas of focus:-


Reducing supply and demand

Building upon the successes of Law Enforcement to deter the importation and supply of illegal drugs, the Strategy will look to review and assess the current legislation in respect of drug related offending to ensure that it remains suitably appropriate and robust. Additionally, the Strategy will explore alternative ways of responding to drug related offending as well as alcohol related offending. The Strategy, mindful of the growing local trend where prescription drugs are misused, either in isolation or in conjunction with illegal drugs, will also consider the steps which can be taken locally to deter against their misuse, including the continued development of a multiagency approach including local GPs. The Strategy will continue to promote a range of awareness campaigns, designed to ensure that Islanders are aware of the risks and harms of substance abuse. In particular, the Strategy will look to develop a social media presence in order to ensure the message best reaches its intended audience.

The Strategy will continue to look to evolving good practice in other jurisdictions in respect of reducing the availability of cheap and heavily discounted alcohol and irresponsible promotions. The Strategy will continue to actively work with the licensed trade locally, providing advice and assistance in respect of the responsible discharge of their licence.

Supporting children, young people and families

The positive results of the Young People Surveys in recent years have clearly demonstrated the success of the Strategy's education programme and this will continue under the new Strategy, along with the greater promotion of outreach services. The Strategy is increasing its emphasis on prevention and early intervention to divert young people away from drug and alcohol misuse, thereby reducing the need for clinical intervention.

The Strategy, recognising the detrimental effects that parental substance misuse has on children and families, will implement family focused initiatives and seek to improve the referral process from statutory services to community programmes. In particular, the Strategy hopes to promote access to family focused services at an earlier stage in order to divert families towards targeted help and support before escalation of the situation.

Working in partnership

Since its inception, the Strategy has developed strong working relationships with partners in the third sector, most particularly those working with individuals with substance misuse issues and this will continue to develop into the new Strategy. The Strategy also looks forward to enhancing its relationships with charities where alcohol and drugs are not their primary areas of focus but where substance misuse may be a contributory factor for a proportion of their clients.  The Strategy will also seek to obtain feedback from service users in order to ensure that provision best meets the need of the individual and remains fit for purpose. Particular emphasis will be placed on the development of risk assessed integrated pathways for prisoners, providing proactive specialist support to retain recovery.

The Strategy has, through its proactive response to emerging drugs of concern (new psychoactive substances - NPS), demonstrated the benefits of liaison with inter-island and national networks. The British Irish Council's drug workstream has been established for many years, and has in part informed and strengthened local approaches. The development of an alcohol workstream in 2013, following concern across the jurisdictions in respect of the harm caused by alcohol misuse, will further enable the Strategy to forge and strengthen link on this important social policy area.   

The Strategy will also seek to maintain and develop its relationship with other States' strategies, such as the Criminal Justice Strategy, the Domestic Abuse Strategy and the Tobacco Control Strategy.

Providing treatment

The Strategy will seek to further develop treatment services locally, with the aim of increasing the number of people moving through treatment into sustained recovery. Fundamental to achieving this aim will be the remodelling of the current treatment programme into an integrated treatment network with a single point of access and agreed information sharing and confidentiality protocols.

One priority for the Strategy will be the development, and implementation, of a model of shared care between treatment providers and GPs. This will improve the treatment package available for clients, and should greater enable access to services.

Encouraging responsible choice

The Strategy will seek to build upon previous awareness campaigns locally in respect of the risks of alcohol consumption and the consequences of problem alcohol use. Particular campaigns may focus on areas such as parental responsibility, the effects of alcohol on the brain in particular in respect of young people and the economic loss within the workplace due to excessive alcohol.

The Strategy will also seek to establish the wider use of opportunistic Identification and Brief Advice, whereby practitioners may, through the use of a recognised tool, swiftly assess an individual's drinking habits, with the aim, where appropriate, to motivate them to reduce their alcohol consumption. It is hoped that this service will be greater developed across primary, acute and community care settings and potentially in the workplace.

Monitoring workstreams through Training, Data collection, Monitoring and Evaluation

A key priority of the 2015-2020 Strategy is to ensure that the data collected locally across service providers is not only used for key performance indicators, assessing the success of the Strategy locally, but is used more widely for benchmarking both nationally and internationally. This benchmarking will allow the Strategy to measure its performance against those of other jurisdictions, enabling Guernsey to, on a world stage, contribute to and learn from evolving good practice and developments.

The greater use of key performance indicators and outcome measures under the new Strategy will allow further monitoring and assessment of the Strategy's Service Level Agreements, ensuring that the Island receives value for money and positive outcomes are achieved. A list of the Strategy's intended key performance indicators can be found within Appendix 2. The Strategy will continue to provide a rolling programme of training to ensure that all relevant staff across States Departments and partner organisations are trained as appropriate to the highest standard and kept up to date with current best practice and issues.     


The Drug and Alcohol Strategy 2015-2020 is located at the bottom of the page, you can also see the summary of the Strategy in the document entitled Framework.



Drug & Alcohol Strategy

Strategy Co-ordinator,  Sir Charles Frossard House,  La Charroterie,  St Peter Port,  GY1 1FH,  Guernsey
Tel: 44 1481 717000 Email: andrea.nightingale@gov.gg

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