Report suggests drug services don't meet users' needs

Drug services are of "little relevance" to minority groups and are failing to meet the needs of addicts and users, a report warned today.

The review found more could be done to flag up the health risks associated with new substances as they emerge on the market.

And it singled out drug abuse among disabled servicemen as a growing area for concern.

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The UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) report said services were ill-equipped to deal with certain sectors of society and identified a series of concerns.

It found "recreational" use among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups to be significantly higher than among their heterosexual counterparts - especially among gay men.

And it said these communities - at risk of misusing drugs including steroids and Viagra - could be neglected owing to a focus on heroin and crack cocaine.

The report found overall drug use was most prevalent among those from mixed ethnic backgrounds, mainly due to high levels of cannabis use but said drug services for these communities "will not be sustainable in many areas".

The report proposed measures including "appropriate data-gathering and intelligence sharing mechanisms" to flag up emerging drugs, asking GPs and religious leaders to engage with specific groups and using social media to reinforce messages.