A positive approach is crucial to breaking familial habits, a leading expert has said at this week's Drug and Alcohol Today event, held in Brighton.

Opening the conference, Professor Angie Hart from the University of Brighton looked at the challenges facing children raised by families with a history of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) use. She emphasised the importance of a positive environment in which children could have a sense of belonging, which, she said, would be key to ensuring they don't repeat the same problems.

The Professor of Health and Social Science faculty advised that children in such situations should look to have a network of five people they can talk to about their situation but should also develop the capacity to not disclose.

Creating a good environment for recovery was also a key factor the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals chief executive Carole Sharma, who urged her colleages to "take down those negative, out-of-date posters if you want to create a supportive for service users".

With an 11 per cent increase in underage drinking and four per cent increase in drug-taking by 11-15 year olds recorded by the Office of National Statistics between 2010 and 2011, the impact of recovery on families is becoming ever more important.

As such, Adfam's director of policy Joss Smith stressed the importance of professional involved in drug and alcohol support to consider the impact of recovery on the family unit.

However, against the backdrop of the head of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Clare Gerada's recent claim that "vital" NHS recovery provision could be "extinct" within a few years, the final plenary looked at the problems for the sector in the apparent absence of a "national champion".

In an exclusive interview for JFHC and DAAT, national stategic recovery lead for the NTA, Martin Gilman, said: "It's important to make sure we create the climate to allow people to move forward from treatment into recovery.

"This is a relatively new 'partnership' and we want to see full investment across the 'sector' from police, to charities, to nurses and government bodies into what is a long-term process of recovery."

Watch the full interview here:

For more information visit http://pavilion-live.co.uk/drugs-and-alcohol-today/ 

Posted 06/07/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com