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This is a story about a UK gov drug envoy. In control of so called drug action teams.


I actually feel sorry for this bloke, I spose it serves him right.


Guardian Article - How Britain is Losing the War On Drugs


Heres a snippet, I was a bit high when I read this so it was very funny:


In early 2000, the Home Office decided to spend £5m on Prospects hostels so that drug users leaving prison could have a bed with special treatment. Since then, the Home Office's Prison Service have a) chosen five pilots areas, including Bristol, :) set up a new team to manage the project, c) gone through a rigorous tendering process to select providers, d) produced a detailed specification for the hostel regime, e) transferred "ownership" of the project to the national probation directorate who set up a new team to manage it who, f) converted the regime into a set of operating manuals and g) held numerous meetings with DATs to monitor progress, and h) asked DATs to develop "a methodology for site search and selection", and i) to set up local planning teams to draft, consult on and agree referral protocols, after which, j) they set up local project boards and k) this February they held a press launch. But there was nothing to launch.


After three years of work, they have consumed hundreds of hours in meetings, spent hundreds of thousand of pounds but have not yet provided a single bed for a single drug-using ex-prisoner in Bristol or anywhere else. They say it may happen "as early as 2004" although only in the five pilot areas which will then be subject to a three-year evaluation.


If its not militaristic fascism a la the US then its this sort of incompetence. Just another reason why drug policy should be, if anything, a health based policy not a criminal justice one.


At least their incompetence isn't busting small time choofers.


Over and over again, Elliott found that a problem was confronted not with a solution but with a bureaucratic process. Problem: there are not enough detox beds. Solution: pay for some more. What the DAT had to do: rewrite the service level agreements with local providers; increase their targets by 10%; conduct an audit to measure the gap between the detox they had and the detox they needed; cut the funds to meet an NHS efficiency target. Outcome: no change yet.


Problem: there are not enough rehab places. Solution: pay for some more. What the DAT had to do: audit and review existing rehab places; join a regional review of rehab places; hand over £5,000 from their treatment budget, along with all the other local DATs, to fund a new regional offical to take over central purchasing of rehab; set up an inquiry into the need for special rehab places for black, Asian and women users - and, of course, all this had to be recorded on planning grids, most of which then had to be rewritten to improve its performance score. Outcome: no change yet.


Problem: users come out of rehab with nowhere to live. Solution: find them somewhere to live. What the DAT was required to do: conduct a review of residential treatment services in Bristol; set up a special integrated care pathways group to liaise between agencies; develop a new protocol between treatment and housing; set up a waiting times group to monitor waiting times and the implementation of the protocol. Outcome: no change yet.



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