News release: Government shows commitment to tackling drugs' misuse

Media and Promotion Office (2003) News release: Government shows commitment to tackling drugs' misuse. Other. University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

[thumbnail of Scan of paper copy]
PDF (Scan of paper copy) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.


Official URL:


The Department of Health is holding a one-day conference to present the findings of a
ground breaking project conducted by the University of Central Lancashire. The project
investigated ways of tackling drugs misuse within Black and minority ethnic
communities within the UK.
The Department commissioned the University's Centre for Ethnicity and Heath to
manage this large-scale Community Engagement project which consisted of assessing
substance misuse needs around drug education, prevention and treatment within the
communities. Over 12,000 people, representing 30 ethnic and national groups
participated in the project through interviews, focus groups, workshops and seminars.
The needs assessments were conducted by 47 difference community groups who
produced a total of 51 individual reports, all of which will provide a valuable
contribution to the evidence base for drug treatment, education and prevention needs of
Black and minority ethnic communities.
"Community Engagement: Identifying issues, creating solutions- together" will bring
together speakers from Government, community groups and from the various agencies
involved in combating substance misuse. The conference will explain the model of
Community Engagement that has developed as a result of the project and how, by
working together, communities and agencies have been able to dismantle barriers to
services. Much of the discussion will also focus on the process of conducting the needs
assessment, as well as the end result. Involvement in the process has left a legacy of
trained, local community people who can provide support, advice and information to
members of their own communities and to local agencies.
Public Health Minister Hazel Blears, said: "This innovative research has shown the real
impact we can make on drug service provision through engaging more with local
people. However, in spite of the tremendous success of this initiative there is still more
work to be done which is why I am pleased to announce that we will fund the
continuing Community Engagement programme. Through this funding, we will set up a
further 120 projects and train up to 800 more people as well as exploring in more detail
many of the important issues raised through the first round of projects."
Professor Kamlesh Patel OBE, Head of the Centre for Ethnicity and Health at the
University of Central Lancashire said: ·~By engaging effectively with communities at a
grass roots level we can work with communities to tackle drugs misuse head on.
Community engagement is all about participation and representation at a community
level and ensuring that drug treatment, education and prevention services are
appropriately tailored for vulnerable and marginalised groups. The new programme
will engage any group that is disadvantaged in terms of drug service provision, not just
Black and minority ethnic communities."
19May 2003
Notes to Editors:
1. "Community Engagement: Identifying issues, creating solutions - together" will
be held from 10.30 am- 4.00 pm, on Tuesday 20 May at The New Connaught
Rooms, Covent Garden Exhibition Centre, 61-65 Great Queen Street, Covent
Garden, London WC2B 5DA. For media enquiries contact Vince Vas at the
Department of Health's Media Centre on 0207 2015238 or
vi nee. vas .uk.
2. The report, 'Community Engagement' is available from The Centre
Administrator, Centre for Ethnicity & Health, University of Central Lancashire,
Preston PRl 2HE, tel: 01772 892779. For further information about the
Centre for Ethnicity and Health contact Professor Kamlesh Patel, OBE
07802 563136. For media enquiries at the University of Central Lancashire
contact Pamela Culley on 01772 894425 or
3. The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse will be distributing
copies of their new publication 'Black and minority ethnic communities in
England: a review of the literature on drug use and related service provision' at
the conference.

Repository Staff Only: item control page