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
“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
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.