Thursday, 11 June 2009

An event of some considerable importance


12th June 2009

“Recovery should also be a goal, not simply harm reduction”

The inaugural annual Welsh Council on Alcohol and other Drugs lecture will be delivered by Dr David Best, Reader in Criminal Justice at the University of the West of Scotland at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay on Tuesday, 16th June at 6.30pm. The lecture, held in association with the three registered treatment centres in Wales Brynawel House (South Wales), CAIS (North Wales) and Rhoserchan (Mid Wales), will be hosted by Gareth Jones OBE, AM.

The lecture, Evidence of Hope: What do we know about sustained recovery from alcohol and drug addiction?, chaired by Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, will be the first time the Council and the three registered treatment centres in Wales will have worked together in partnership to tackle the wider debate on a number of different approaches to addiction therapy.

Dr David Best, in addition to his academic work in Scotland, is also involved in work for the Home Office in London, the Scottish Government, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Abuse and local recovery initiatives in Glasgow and Lanarkshire. A Chartered Psychologist and a member of the British Criminology Society, he spent ten years working in research at the National Addiction Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, managing a range of applied studies of drug and alcohol treatment interventions to prevent drug-related deaths and drug crime studies. He has also worked with the Police Complaints Authority, the National Treatment Agency and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.

Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and other Drugs, said, “There are of course a number of different approaches and philosophies on tackling addiction but it is great to see all three treatment centres working together formally for the first time for the benefit of Welsh clients. It is not an easy debate but one which Wales needs to have and I am very grateful to Dr David Best for agreeing to deliver our inaugural lecture as it is an important objective for us to deliver as part of our current three-year strategy”.

Dr David Best, said, “I am looking forward to speaking in Cardiff as my current areas of research interest are around recovery journeys from addiction, the relationship between drug use and crime and the role of organisational functioning in influencing treatment effectiveness are all highly relevant. I know a great deal of emphasis is put on harm reduction policies but I do believe that we should also be talking about sustained recovery in the same sentence.”

Lynn Bennoch, Lead Director, CAIS, on behalf of the three registered providers, added, “CAIS has 12 years experience of providing Detox services, and 18 years of providing rehabilitation services, Brynawel House has 32 years experience of providing rehabilitation services and Rhoserchan 21 years - therefore in total we have 83 years of experience!

“We are currently looking at ways of working towards providing the ‘best practice’ and a more holistic approach to the treatment of drug and alcohol clients that will take into account the different approaches on tackling addiction. The collaboration between the three registered treatment providers will seek to address a more flexible and systematic approach to the residential treatment of those seeking help with their dependency.”

Gareth Jones AM, said, “Gareth Jones AM, said, “"I am delighted to be able to sponsor this important event in the Senedd and pleased that the inaugural lecture of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and other Drugs has attracted a renowned expert and a speaker of such high calibre as Dr David Best. The issues surrounding the debate on addiction, treatment and crime are sometimes complex and difficult but nevertheless we ought not to shirk our responsibility to openly discuss the potential solutions.

"I am mindful of the heavy toll of drug and alcohol addiction on individuals, families and society as a whole and we owe it to ourselves to try to get the right messages over even if that means for example challenging some commercial interests. I look forward to a renewed debate and a greater co-ordination of our efforts and resources in this important field."

For further information please contact Rhodri Ellis Owen at Cambrensis Communications on 029 20 257075

Editor’s Notes
The 3 Welsh treatment centres (Ty’n Rodyn/Hafan Wen, Brynawel House and Rhoserchan) are able to associate themselves with this event thanks to the investment in recent years by the Welsh Assembly Government into Drug & Alcohol residential treatment centres

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