NTA publish joint strategic needs assessment to help commission and plan local substance misuse recovery systems


In April 2013, subject to the Health and Social Care Bill becoming law, local authorities will become responsible for commissioning drug treatment and recovery services.

An effective approach to tackling substance misuse will require partnership working across local authorities, health bodies and criminal justice agencies. The object is not only for individuals to overcome dependency, but to be in employment, have stable accommodation, look after their families, and cease committing crime.

The NHS National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse have published two support packs aimed at commissioners and strategic partners.

They are accompanied by a ‘Why Invest?’ presentation that shows how:

Investing in local drug treatment and recovery services benefits individuals, strengthens families and makes communities safer.

A key principle of these publications is to ensure that drug and alcohol commissioners work closely with all relevant partners to commission services based on outcomes

The four principles for commissioning a drug treatment system that promotes successful recovery journeys are:

  1. Recovery is initiated by maintaining and, where necessary, improving access to early and preventative interventions, and to treatment
  2. Treatment is recovery-orientated, effective, high-quality and protective
  3. Treatment delivers continued benefit and achieves appropriate recovery-orientated outcomes, including successful completions
  4. Treatment supports people to achieve sustained recovery


Joint Strategic Needs Assessment: support pack for commissioners (PDF). National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment: support pack from strategic partners (PDF template). National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse.

Why invest? How drug treatment and recovery services work for individuals, communities and society (PDF presentation). National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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