Gateways: Alcohol Brief Interventions in Prison

Therapeutic Solutions (Addictions) have been commissioned to help develop a range of approaches to enhancing the delivery of alcohol interventions within a custodial (prison) setting. Within the Gateways Project in the North West of England, Therapeutic Solutions (Addictions) have collaborated with a range of partners to help enhance the delivery of brief interventions in prisons. We have sponsored a review of the literature on brief interventions led by Dr Ed Day at Kings College, London.

In addition, we have undertaken worked with the ten prisons within the Gateways Project to scope current provision and understand how brief interventions are currently being delivered. This has led to the provision of an Alcohol Brief Intervention manual for use in prison designed by Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch and Ruth McGovern at Newcastle University. Colleagues at Newcastle also delivered bespoke training underpinning on brief interventions as part of the project to prison-based and substance misuse professionals. Therapeutic Solutions will work closely with NHS and Public Health England, alongside Professor Newbury-Birch to evaluate how well the training has been implemented into routine practice.

We have also worked with Newcastle University to produce a series of factsheets examining the efficacy of alcohol brief interventions across criminal justice settings such as within prison, probation and police custody. An academic paper was also published in the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. The abstract can be accessed here:

Our findings from this work won an award from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse ‘Addiction Matters’ Montréal conference in 2015.

Thinking Differently: Alcohol Interventions for Young People in Scotland

Therapeutic Solutions are currently working as advisors for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and other partners including the Robertson Trust developing innovative approaches aimed at reducing alcohol related harm and associated risky behaviour by young people; and building practical sustainable skills and knowledge to empower young people, their parents/ carers and communities. We are providing consultancy support to project management team managing the evaluation (undertaken by Newcastle University). The full report is due for publication soon.

Recovery Services

We have offered a range of services to support the development of recovery services across the substance misuse sector including a number of reports and academic peer-reviewed papers. We have a paper written in partnership with Birmingham University on influences to 12-Step mutual self-help groups published in the European Addiction Research in September 2014.

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Our Services

We have developed a range of analytical and methodological approaches aimed at understanding the health and substance misuse needs of individuals including extensive interviews with a cross-section of service users in contact with healthcare and other related services. We have also worked to develop methods aimed at understanding the nuances of prisoner satisfaction of clinical services received. Our paper testing use of SERVQUAL as a mechanism for understanding ‘real’ satisfaction rates has been published here.

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Studies and Assessments

We have undertaken over 50 health and substance misuse specific needs assessments since 2006. These have included studies across community settings and across the criminal justice system (including detainee needs in police custody; service users in contact with Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and prisoners in contact with health services in secure settings).

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