Part of the Picture 2009-11 Report - Action plan
Following the report launch, recommendations for action have been developed with key stakeholders in the drug and alcohol use field. Actions for individual stakeholders centre on using an awareness of the Part of the Picture report findings to begin to tackle the problematic drug and alcohol use of LGB people.
Commissioners and policy makers
Under the Equality Act 2010, services must be designed and commissioned to take account of LGB people’s specific needs. Commissioners and policy makers should therefore:
- Include a requirement to meet specific LGB needs in drug and alcohol commissioning strategies and procurement plans;
- Mandate that commissioned service providers monitor the sexual orientation of their service users, in order to better understand LGB people’s need.
Drug and alcohol service providers
While the Part of the Picture data shows that LGB people are more likely to be using drugs and alcohol than the general population, rates of access to drug and alcohol treatment services are currently unknown. Drug and alcohol service providers should therefore:
- Monitor the sexual orientation of service users and use the data to establish if LGB people are using their service(s) and if they rate the service(s) as highly as heterosexual people;
- Ensure services are accessible to LGB people and are meeting their specific needs. For example, does the service have an LGB specialist worker, or does it provide services for substances popular among LGB people such as cannabis?
LGB&T voluntary and community sector
Information expertise is available from The Lesbian & Gay Foundation on up-to-date research on LGB drug and alcohol use, and advice on using this in funding bids and to influence services locally. The LGB&T voluntary and community sector should therefore:
- Ensure staff and volunteers are aware of potential drug and/or alcohol misuse issues for service users;
- Use the Part of the Picture data to talk to commissioners and service providers locally, to get LGB people’s needs on important strategic documents (such as regional drug and alcohol strategies, the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies).
Part of the Picture project team
We will continue to research LGB alcohol and drug use and to disseminate our findings to stakeholders in the drug and alcohol use field, and among the LGB&T voluntary and community sector.
- Conduct qualitative research to explore why certain groups of LGB people are using substances in the way they are;
- Produce a report of the 2009-12 data to be launched in Summer 2013.