The current drug strategies in the United Kingdom place an emphasis on evidence-based interventions, achieving outcomes and continuing to develop best practice. Various organisations are involved in the promotion of best practice and the quality assurance of services, including the devolved administrations, NICE, PHE, the Department of Health and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). NICE has produced a range of guidelines, technical appraisals and pathways relating to best practice and standards of care in the treatment of substance misuse.
The 2007 clinical guidelines, Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management, provide guidance for clinicians delivering drug treatment in the United Kingdom. Clinical guidelines and technology appraisals apply only to those using the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales and are usually disseminated following local review in Northern Ireland.
In England, the CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care. Its purpose is to monitor, inspect and regulate the services delivered by health and social care providers. Organisations similar to the CQC exist in Wales (the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales), Scotland (the Care Inspectorate) and Northern Ireland (the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority).
The Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) is the professional body responsible for individual accreditation in the field of substance misuse and addiction for the United Kingdom. FDAP has a National Counsellor Accreditation Certificate (NCAC) scheme, which is a professional certification for drug and alcohol counsellors who want to provide counselling or psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families.
Front-line workers in the field of substance use are offered training and qualifications in the Drug and Alcohol National Occupational Standards as part of their development. Higher education institutions in the United Kingdom offer a wide range of academic courses, particularly at postgraduate level, focusing on drug and alcohol addiction, psychology, mental health and social work, and on the impact of addictions on individuals and society. There is an addiction specialisation in medicine, as well as opportunities for life-long continuing education for healthcare professionals.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a range of guidelines, technical appraisals and pathways relating to best practice and standards of care in the treatment of substance misuse