The tenth annual Drug Related Death Conference took place on Friday 24th March at The Racecourse, Exeter. Kind donations from the Plymouth Public Health, Cornwall DAAT, Devon and Cornwall Police and sponsorship from companies associated with drug treatment/ harm reduction have allowed this conference to again be provided free to delegates.
This popular conference deals with some heavy hitting subject matter and yet always manages to maintain and end with a very positive vibe. This year continued to deliver an eclectic content with eclectic speakers and workshop hosts. With a more tangible move towards avoidable deaths this year, the topics included more of an emphasis on alcohol and how we as a Peninsular might move forward under the national guidance with our own varied strategies, tactics and priorities. To that end, delegates were able to see and hear about;
- Local Drug Information Systems with complementary workshop
- Drug and alcohol deaths: an action plan for England
- Pathways to reduce alcohol-related deaths with a follow up workshop looking at local pathways and beyond
- East Midlands Ambulance Service working around non-fatal overdoses with a complementary workshop from Exeter looking at a local approach
- ‘Ten Footsteps’ Programme for Persistent Pain; Making self-management accessible
- Drug policy and whether it creates a barrier to achieving drug health, treatment & harm reduction
- The Plymouth Vaping experiment
The subjects were chosen in part having reviewed drug related deaths leading up to the conference where learning and identification of preventative measures are always used as a framework for the conference.
The conference had more of a regional reach to it this year with speakers and delegates coming from wider afield. It was well attended with attendees from a range of organisations including Drug and Alcohol treatment services, D&C Police, Mental Health, Commissioning and HMPPS to name a few. Such was the immediate positive feedback at conference and in the ensuing week, that planning for the next conference is already in conversation.
We also wanted to take a minute to thank the Conference Team for all their hard work in the lead up to, and during the day.