Drug and Alcohol Use and Homelessness

This module is part of digital training package on homeless and inclusion health. It will take around 1:50 to complete, with 50 minutes of optional case studies, plus reflection time. Using presentations from leading experts this module provides you with an introduction to the relationship between substance misuse and homelessness or those with complex needs. This module is designed for:

  • Practitioners
  • Clinicians
  • Policy-makers
  • Commissioners
  • Service providers
  • Campaigners and people with lived experience of exclusions

These sessions cover examples of health interventions in homeless and vulnerable adults with substance misuse problems, the relationship between social exclusion and complex needs and the impact of alcohol on cognitive function. After completing this module you should:

  • Know more about harm reduction models in clinical settings
  • Understand the wider context of public and government policy in making a case for change social exclusion
  • Know the prevalence of mental health and substance misuse amongst people who are homeless
  • Understand the link between mental health problems and nutritional deficiencies

Additional units to supplement this learning are listed in the side bar.

The Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture 2017 – The Highs and The Lows: 30 years of alcohol and drug policy

Professor David Nutt presents the Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture at Homeless and Inclusion Health 2017, continuing Professor Halligan’s legacy of compassion and ‘speaking truth to power’. This powerful speech, alongside people who have overcome drug and alcohol use, reflects upon past and present policy, and its positive and negative impact on people with substance misuse issues.

Professor David Nutt – Hitting the highs and the lows: 30 years of alcohol and drug policy

Alcohol, Cognitive Function and Homelessness – A Nutritional Perspective

Professor Adrian Bonner explores the programmes of care provided by the Salvation Army. His presentation focuses on mental health screening and diagnostic programmes leading to interventions to improve the nutrition, and so the cognitive function and serotonin levels of people who use alcohol.

Professor Adrian Bonner – Alcohol, Cognitive Function and Homelessness – A Nutritional Perspective

Case Studies

Dr Clare Fleming explains how her service supports people who are using alcohol through a ‘wet clinic’, reaching people who are often excluded from services with kindness and respect.

Dr Clare Fleming – Bristol Wet Clinic – An Evaluation

Addressing Local Resistance to Injecting and Support Services

In this presentation, subtitled ‘Lessons from the Urban Jungle’, Dr Ingrid van Beek discusses local resistance to the provision of support services in the locations where people using drug and alcohol services are located, despite strong evidence of effectiveness and harm reduction. In this poignant and humorous presentation she explores how defence of the service has focused on public health evidence, engaging with community forums, embedding the team in the local area, and media training and work.

Dr. Ingrid van Beek -Addressing Local Resistance to Injecting and Support Services 

The information in this e-learning resource has been collated by The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health to support learning, collaboration and good practice. This has been sponsored by Public Health England as part of its commitment to sharing evidence and promoting the development of effective local leadership and good practice.