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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

New ten-year Substance Use Strategy launched

20 July 2023

The Government of Jersey is proud to announce the launch of "A Change of Direction: A Substance Use Strategy for Jersey". The strategy has been developed by Public Health Jersey alongside key partners, services and service users. It aims to redefine how we perceive and respond to substance use as a community, with a focus on health and social wellbeing.

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Karen Wilson, said: “I’m delighted to see such a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to addressing substance use on the Island.

“Substance use encompasses a wide range of drugs that impact the brain, body, or both and while not everyone who uses substances will develop a dependency, potential harms can arise at any time. These harms extend beyond individuals to affect schools, families, and communities across the Island. Recognising the complexity of substance use, the strategy covers various substances, including alcohol, psychoactive drugs, medicines, and performance and image-enhancing drugs.

“This strategy is the result of extensive research, data analysis, and stakeholder engagement. It represents a collaborative effort involving Government of Jersey departments, support services, and individuals with lived experience. I’m really pleased to see how much considered effort and collaborative working has gone into the development of this strategy. I believe that by taking a health and social approach, the strategy will support us to address substance use comprehensively and minimise associated harms while simultaneously improving health and wellbeing.”

The strategy is built upon five strategic aims, each with specific objectives:

  • Delay the onset of substance use while preventing problematic use
  • Reduce harm to individuals, families, and the Island
  • Ensure Islanders have access to support across the spectrum of substance use
  • Improve wider health and well-being
  • Continue progressing towards a sustainable health and social-based approach.

To achieve these aims, the strategy adheres to key principles, including considering multiple substances, adopting a public health and population health prevention approach, and collaborating across various sectors. Human rights, ethical principles, and the involvement of service users and peers are given utmost importance. Additionally, the strategy takes into account the unique cultural and social characteristics of islanders and ensures that responses are evidence-based, monitored, and evaluated for their effectiveness.

While "A Change of Direction: A Substance Use Strategy for Jersey" primarily focuses on alcohol, psychoactive drugs, medicines, and performance and image-enhancing drugs, ongoing work around medicinal cannabis and tobacco/vaping remains in progress. The Government of Jersey is committed to providing updates on these areas in due course.

To learn more about the Population Health Prevention Strategy, which is aligned with this substance use strategy, please visit Population Health Prevention Strategy 2023 to 2027.

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