Table of contents

User Views

Background papers: Lifestyle and wider determinants :: Alcohol :: User Views

In 2016/17 Medway Public Health commissioned an audit of local substance misuse needs, including a consultation with service users, treatment providers and partner agencies. 81 people with current or recent substance misuse issues, including alcohol dependence, were consulted, as well as 33 professionals working with both service providers and partner agencies[1].

In 2016/17 a consultation was undertaken with members of the public concerning their perception of alcohol harms linked to licensed premises in support of the licensing policy process. There were a total of 57 responses[2].

It is important to note that views expressed will reflect the opinions of the respondents only and may not accurately represent the views of the entire population.

Service users

The key messages from this group were:
• There was little rehabilitation support when back in the community, although the idea of community rehabilitation was advocated[1].
• There was a lack of mental health support[1].
• There was often a feeling of box ticking to keep funding going in treatment rather than a personalised approach[1].
• Those who were Eastern European believed their nationality was a barrier to support either through language problems or a right to accommodation[1].
• Lack of accommodation for the homeless was seen as a barrier to successful treatment[1].

Staff of treatment providers

The key messages from this group were:
• There are good links with agencies in Medway such as hospitals, the university, social services and police[1].
• Alcohol discharges from hospital needed more attention and immediate pick-up[1].
• Working individuals are a potentially neglected group and there should be more on offer to help their recovery[1].
• More emphasis is needed on aftercare[1].
• Issues such as housing threatened people's ability to change[1].


The key messages from this group were:
• A lack of accommodation, especially 'dry houses' was a barrier for change[1].
• The service provider was perceived to cater primarily for opiate users, which caused a barrier for users of other substances[1].
• Obtaining mental health support for clients could be problematic[1].
• There was a need for better transitioning support for young adults[1].
• A more holistic way of working for those in active addiction or recovery was needed[1].

Members of the public

The key messages from this group were:
• 86% felt that licensed premises in their area contributed towards issues of crime, disorder, nuisance, safety and harm to children[2].
• Most residents experienced alcohol related issues weekly or more often[2].
• The majority of the negative impacts from customers of licensed premises occurred during the evening and night. However, there was significant street drinking, littering, intimidation and begging and nuisance during the day impacting communities[2].


[1]   Scott M SS. Road to Recovery. Substance Misuse in Medway. 2017;
[2]   Medway Council. Licensing and Safety Committee 2017;