Programmes > Substance Misuse Work at Kirklees YOT
Kirklees YOT recognises the high levels of alcohol
and other drug use and misuse among young offenders
and the relationship this behaviour may have to both
mental/physical health and patterns of offending and
There are currently 2 substance misuse workers seconded from lifeline young people’s service. Both are funded by the Youth Justice Board covering the district of Kirklees.
A Typical Working Day
09.00- Arrive at YOT – Check emails and post
10.00 – Caseload meeting – Discuss YP with health worker/education/YOT officers
11.30 – Home visit to Heckmondwike to assess Y.P
13.00 – Lunch
14.00 – YOI visit to wetherby for final release plan meeting with Y.P
16.00 – Record all YP appointments on YOIS and write up case notes for Y.P confidential file
Most young people that are referred for Substance misuse intervention are categorized based upon the ACE profile, meaning that they fall within the use of alcohol, cannabis or/and ecstasy. This may be solely the use of one primary substance or combined as poly drug use.
The breakdown averages around 25% referred for alcohol as primary substance, 25% for cannabis as primary substance, and 45% for ACE combined and 5% other substances including amphetamines, heroin etc.
During the 08/09 period the YOT referred an average of about 220 Y.P for substance misuse intervention. The majority of these referred for specialist tier 3 interventions with the remainder tier 2 referrals dealt with non structured interventions such as a one of group work session.
When a Y.P is identified as having possible substance misuse issues a referral is made by their YOT worker. After further discussion between Lifeline and YOT worker it is agreed what Tier of intervention should be offered. The following process is undertaken.
If a YP is identified as requiring a Tier 3 intervention, the following stages will be completed:
Ahmed (name changed) was referred to an SM worker by his YOT officer. He had been placed on a referral order after committing an offence whilst under the influence of cannabis and alcohol. He was assessed to determine his level of substance misuse and it was identified that he smoking heavily every day. Ahmed was unable to think of a day in 2 years when he had not smoked cannabis.
Ahmed was able to talk through some of the problems his cannabis use was causing him such as paranoia and problems with sleeping.
Ahmed had already begun to think about making some changes around his Cannabis use, he was offered support in making decisions around his future. Things like whether or not to stop, reducing his cannabis use or continue as he was, with advice around reducing risky behaviour.
Ahmed decided that he wanted to stop smoking cannabis; he explored his reasons for smoking Cannabis and the effects upon his health with his SM worker. They drew up a plan together on how he was going to achieve this and how to avoid situations that might tempt him. Over several sessions Ahmed had significantly reduced his use of Cannabis and begun to see the positive benefits that this was having. He felt healthier and had seen his paranoia disappear.
Ahmed successfully completed his referral order and finished drug free.
Developing a specific alcohol and offending related programme
Exploring alternative/complimentary therapies for YP
Evidence for the effectiveness of complimentary
therapies in improving substance misuse outcomes is
limited. This is largely due to the lack of studies
rather than due to the existence of evidence which
disproves their effectiveness.
There is widespread agreement that the availability of some complimentary therapies (in particular Shiatsu and auricular acupuncture) increases attendance at specialist services; this
may then act to improve engagement with other interventions of proven efficacy. Therapies may include:
Indian head massage
The FRANK campaign provides information and support for young people to ensure they understand the risks and dangers of drugs and their use and that they know where to go for help and advice - www.talktofrank.com
National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse
The National Treatment Agency (NTA) is a special health authority, created by the Government to improve the availability, capacity and effectiveness of treatment for drug misuse in England. You can find further information on the NTA’s website about types of treatment, access to treatment and treatment providers - www.nta.nhs.uk
The NHS Choices website has further information about drug misuse and where to get help - www.nhs.co.uk
DrugScope is the UK's leading independent centre of expertise on drugs - www.drugscope.org.uk