Drugs and Alcohol Needs Assessment


This needs assessment aims to understand the scale and features of drug and alcohol consumption, related harms including crime, and health and criminal justice service usage in Buckinghamshire. These insights will identify areas for improvement and gaps in current system-wide service provision to inform the development of a new five year drugs and alcohol strategy for Buckinghamshire.

Local professionals were individually interviewed to gather their views on substance misuse in Buckinghamshire. In total, 42 stakeholders contributed from settings including:

  • Specialist drug and alcohol treatment services
  • Related clinical areas (such as mental health and sexual health)
  • Criminal justice system
  • Services more likely to encounter drug and alcohol clients as either a risk factor or consequence (such as housing providers)

Eighteen people with lived experience were consulted to understand their perspectives on current provision as well as wider issues relating to drugs and alcohol in Buckinghamshire. Consultation took place with those who agreed to come forward, and they provided their insights as self-selected individuals. Consultations were held in four online groups:

  • Women
  • Peer support (which includes both drug and alcohol clients)
  • Alcohol
  • Partner peer support

This report is the baseline assessment for the newly established Combating Drugs Partnership (CDP). It has been produced by Buckinghamshire Council Public Health and Community Safety teams, but would not have been possible without contributions from all of our CDP partners. In addition, the Centre for Public Innovation, a Community Interest Company, was commissioned to perform a piece of work which included the health sector stakeholder consultation detailed in this document. As the Partnership evolves and the national outcomes framework is published it is anticipated that a richer analysis will be available and this document will be updated. We would like to thank all colleagues who have shared their insights in the production of this needs assessment.

Data presented are the most recent available at the time of production, but some sources have not been updated for a number of years and must therefore be viewed with greater caution. It is anticipated that variations in both need and demand may have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic.