Meeting the Challenge series

Star rating: 3/5.

Valerie Peets, Drugscope
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Traditionally, drug services have had a strong opiate-dependent client base, but the government’s crack strategy has made services rethink the interventions they offer, writes Lisa Baseley.

Dealing with Crack and Cocaine Addiction: A Workbook for Use by Individuals in One-to-One and Groupwork Sessions (£5) offers some sound, non-judgemental and non-sensationalist information, and could be used successfully alongside the crack strategy. However, anyone facilitating a group should make sure they know about group dynamics, the substance and other related issues, such as appropriate referral pathways, rather than relying solely on the guide.

Dealing with Heroin Addiction: A Workbook for Use by Individuals in One-to-One and Groupwork Sessions (£5) gives a good introduction to the effects of heroin and successful interventions. All drug workers now have to be trained to a national standard, including in-depth knowledge on each substance. This guide can be used to back that up and, more importantly, put it into practical use. So often, theories on dependency do not give workers the tools to work successfully with clients. Guides like this make it easier as the information is all in one place and based on an actual drug worker’s experience, rather than theory.

A Manual on Using Workbooks for Group and One-to-One Sessions with Drug Users (£10) is designed to be used alongside the above workbooks as a step-by-step guide to groupwork with substance-users. Project workers with several years’ experience and who have set up projects will find this guide useful after they have finished their probationary period and their manager has a good idea of their capabilities and confidence. Not a manual for the novice worker, then, but rather a tool for the more experienced worker to be used alongside good training and supervision.

Lisa Baseley is training co-ordinator for Addaction, a drugs and alcohol treatment agency.

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