This page contains several reports addressing the needs and circumstances of people who misuse harmful substances in West Sussex, including:

  • Understanding & Reducing Drug Demand: Bognor Regis Analysis 2021
  • Substance Misuse Needs Assessment (2021)
  • Drug Related Deaths Audit (2019)
  • Drugs and Alcohol Needs Assessment (2014)
  • Dual Diagnosis Needs Assessment (2014)

You can jump to these reports using the links at the top of this page.

Understanding & Reducing Drug Demand: Bognor Regis Analysis 2021

Understanding & Reducing Drug Demand: Bognor Regis Analysis 2021 is the first report of its kind to be conducted in West Sussex. It aims to understand the drivers and implications of drug demand on the locale of Bognor Regis, recognising the impact on resources and communities.

Recommendations made in the 2018 Bognor Regis Home Office Locality Review, a report sponsored by the National Violence and Vulnerability Unit, provides the rationale for conducting this analysis. Bognor Regis was identified for this review as a result of the impact of County Lines on the town and surrounding area. It was suggested that partners consider producing an informed problem profile looking at the status of the drug market, with public health identified as having a major role in understanding the nature of local drug demand.

This new report combines public health and place-based approaches, mixed methods analysis, and novel conceptions, to relocate conversations around the supply and demand of drug use, violence and exploitation in the community into the public health field.

Findings from the Locality Review are addressed by this report. Importantly, its analysis corroborates Dame Carol Black’s recent independent report: Review of drugs part two: prevention, treatment, and recovery. Scrutiny of the partnership data contained within the report will allow greater collective understanding of the demand for drugs in Bognor Regis, enabling the creation of multi-agency and sustainable public health interventions. These must meet the needs of local residents as championed by Dame Black’s report.


Substance Misuse Needs Assessment (2021)

The misuse (or excessive use) of drugs and alcohol have been linked to a range of negative impacts for individuals, families and communities, including early death, long term health conditions, reduced quality of life and economic opportunities, and increased social issues, including homelessness, violence and exploitation, which require interventions from state and community-level service provision. National guidance and government policies outline potential actions for improving outcomes related to substance misuse. A necessary component for such action is a local-level examination of the facts, in the form of this health needs assessment.

This report is a part of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for West Sussex, so contains information for system-wide plans, including CCG commissioners, partnership leads, and all those concerned with drug and alcohol use, community safeguarding, population health, policing and adults’ and children’s social care. Its purpose is to provide an up-to-date summary of substance misuse issues in West Sussex, including figures on vulnerable populations and health-outcomes, particularly pertaining to wider social determinants and other drivers of poor health seen in the literature, and has been requested by local substance misuse commissioners to support decisions taken in the planning, commissioning, and provision of services.


Drug Related Deaths Audit (2019)

Deaths from drug poisoning affect a wide spectrum of residents in West Sussex. Whilst younger men account for a larger proportion, deaths are not attributable to a single cohort or demographic and as such, efforts to reduce early death require attention in many different areas.

This newly designed audit covers a three-year period (2015 to 2017) of all deaths from drug poisonings registered by the West Sussex coroner. It examines personal details; information relating to death; toxicology; mental health and social disorders; contact with services in the community; and thematic summaries of contexts and mechanisms leading to death.

Geographic areas have been identified as more concentrated areas of drug misuse deaths and outreach work can be targeted to these areas. Resolving the issues of compounding mental health problems appear to be a primary issue in reducing deaths from drug poisonings across a full spectrum of West Sussex residents. Messages around dangers of alcohol mixed with medications or other substances may need to be reconsidered or refocused.


Source: PHSRU.

Drugs and Alcohol Needs Assessment (2014)

Drug Action Teams were established by the Government in 1995 to ensure the strategic co-ordination of local action on drug misuse. In 2012, the West Sussex Drug & Alcohol Action Team (WSDAAT) was incorporated into Public Health England (PHE) with a view to transfer to the management of West Sussex County Council in April 2013.

The government’s 2010 Drug Strategy sets out to tackle drugs and address alcohol dependence, which it identifies as key causes of societal harm, including crime, family breakdown and poverty. This strategy aims to:

  • reduce demand
  • restrict supply
  • build recovery in communities.

The government’s 2012 Alcohol Strategy similarly plans to crackdown on the UK’s ‘binge drinking’ culture, cut alcohol-fuelled violence and disorder and reduce the number of people drinking to damaging levels.

The 2014 Drugs and Alcohol Needs Assessment was externally commissioned by WSCC and focuses on the diverse needs of West Sussex communities and considers the changing trends and market forces related to alcohol and substance misuse. It was designed to reflect proposals to restructure the current adult treatment model i.e. to streamline pathways into a more person-centric treatment and support provision across specific geographical areas throughout West Sussex.

The report noted the need for:

  • stronger integration and links to other services, such as maternity, mental health, specialist inpatient and specialist adult social care services
  • an increased emphasis on recovery and provision/mapping of peer support and self-help groups
  • improved support for children and young people e.g. support those with parents/carers with substance misuse problems, improve staff training, expand provision of Alcohol Identification and Brief Interventions, ensure adequate early intervention programmes and improve co-ordination of school education work
  • an examination of the apparent under-use of some services, including the Structured Day Service and the local residential Tier 4 detox and rehab service
  • commissioners to review the assessment panel process for Tier 4 and ensure that Tier 4 treatment options should be considered at the start of a treatment journey, not as the last resort
  • commissioners to examine the access and take up of services by people from diverse groups, e.g. BAME groups and people living in rural areas.


Source: PHSRU.

Dual Diagnosis Needs Assessment (2014)

Dual diagnosis refers to the co-existence of mental health and substance misuse problems. People with a dual diagnosis can have complex needs relating to health, social, economic and emotional stressors/circumstances, which can often be exacerbated by their substance misuse. They are a vulnerable group that are more likely to have experienced difficulties with education, employment, housing, personal relationships and physical health. They are also more likely to have suffered trauma or abuse.

Problematic substance use is one of the most common co-morbidities among people with a major mental illness, yet detection of the problem remains low. Historically, individuals with a dual diagnosis have experienced difficulties in accessing services which meet all their needs.

The complex nature of dually diagnosed patients suggests a need for an integrated approach to treatment, which addresses both issues, and coherent pathways of joint working.

The 2014 Dual Diagnosis needs assessment builds on the 2014 West Sussex Drug and Alcohol Needs Assessment. The prevalence rates for those experiencing co-occurring substance misuse and mental health disorders, and the needs, gaps and issues in the current treatment system are identified.