SMMGP - Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Supporting good practice in drug and alcohol treatment

News & Events

Top of Page

Latest News from the SMMGP

Top of Page

Online system launched to tackle harms from new psychoactive substances

(Posted 22 Mar 2017)
A new online system - Report Illicit Drug Reaction (RIDR) - has been launched today to improve our knowledge of the harmful effects of new psychoactive substances (NPS - commonly known as "legal highs").

Last year, one in 40 (2.5%) young adults aged 16-24 took an NPS ("Drug Misuse: Findings from the 2015/16 Crime Survey for England and Wales", July 2016) and there is evidence of widespread use among vulnerable adults such as prisoners and homeless people. Whilst specialist services are responding, the harms are often poorly understood in frontline healthcare services and there's little guidance available to them.

Public Health England (PHE) in collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is piloting a national system to help better monitor the negative effects of NPS and share best treatment practice across a variety of settings, including A&E, sexual health clinics, mental health services, prison health services, drug treatment services and GP surgeries.

The UK-wide easy-to-use RIDR system will be accessible to all front line health staff. Information about the drug and its effects will be recorded anonymously using an online portal. Data from the tool will be analysed by experts to identify patterns of symptoms and harms. This will be used to inform treatment guidance and help staff deal more quickly with unknown substances to improve patient safety.

Rosanna O'Connor, Director of Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco at Public Health England said:

"The contents of new psychoactive substances (NPS) frequently change and their effects can be dangerous and unpredictable. These substances can cause serious problems to both mental and physical health.

"Last year's ban has helped reduce their easy availability, but we are still seeing the most vulnerable groups, particularly, the homeless, prisoners and some young people, suffering the greatest harm from these substances.

"The new RIDR system will help health staff better deal with the emerging challenges we are seeing. We want to encourage all frontline staff in settings such as A&E, sexual health clinics, prisons, drug and mental health services to use the system, which over time will greatly increase our knowledge of these new substances and ultimately improve patient care."

Dr Sarah Elise Finlay, Emergency Medicine Consultant, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust added:

"The information and advice provided by this new system will ultimately ease some of the burden and stress of managing those tricky overdose and poisoning cases in the early hours over the weekend in emergency settings.

"Emergency services are facing significant pressure, which is why we've made the RIDR system as easy as possible for health staff. It's great to know that, in future, help will be at hand for health staff dealing with the harms of these often unknown new drugs."

If you wish to register on RIDR please visit the RIDR web site.

Report Illicit Drug Reaction (RIDR)

Top of Page

Letter to FDAP Members from SMMGP

(Posted 03 Feb 2017)
Welcome to FDAP members

SMMGP is a long-standing training, education and support network in the drugs and alcohol field. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of practice in drug and alcohol treatment and act as the voice of our membership on education, training, research and clinical standards.

SMMGP started out over 20 years ago when general practice became more involved in drug treatment. Over time, with changes in the drug and alcohol treatment field, the people in our 6000-strong network now include GPs, counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, drug and alcohol workers, nurses, pharmacists and people who are in treatment.

SMMGP will take over the membership and accreditation function of FDAP from the 1st February. Our aim is for there to be as little disruption as possible for FDAP members during this period of transition. This means:

Please note that SMMGP (trading as Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners) will not be responsible for issues, or complaints against a Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals member or Affiliate Member, or any FDAP business prior to the 1st February 2017.

We look forward to including FDAP members in our exciting plans this year to provide online continuing professional development (CPD). We will support continuing professional development by providing regular web-based learning including webinars and podcasts covering up-to-date psychosocial, clinical and policy issues.

All that remains now is to introduce you to the SMMGP management team:

Dr Steve Brinksman, our Clinical Lead, is a GP in Birmingham, Kate Halliday, Programme Lead, PGCE (FEHE) DipSW Social Work, Masters in Social Work. Elsa Browne has provided Operational Support since 2009.

SMMGP Board Trustees include Andre Geel, Consultant Clinical Psychologist (C.Psychol, CSci, AFBPsS); April Wareham, Independent Consultant/Trainer and Expert by Experience; Jim Barnard, Regional Drug Service Manager, Dip SW. We will be appointing new members to the SMMGP Board with experience to support the FDAP work.

Please ask if you have any questions, please write to us on

Dr Steve Brinksman
GP and Clinical Lead

1st February 2017

Top of Page

FDAP members' interests and accreditation safe with SMMGP

(Posted 26 Jan 2017)
It's business as usual for FDAP members, the organisation's outgoing chief executive has confirmed. In a statement on 19 January that the professional body for substance misuse workers would close at the end of the month (see, FDAP's board transferred all member services to SMMGP.

In the days following the announcement, Carole Sharma has been reiterating this position and today issued the following statement to reassure members:

"To ensure there is no confusion about the closure of FDAP I wish to state clearly that all membership services are being transferred to SMMGP. This includes all types of accreditation and re-accreditation for individuals, service providers and educational institutions."

"SMMGP will be writing to members soon and we are all working hard to ensure the handover is as smooth as possible."

Top of Page

FDAP accreditation function transfers to SMMGP

(Posted 20 Jan 2017)
We are sorry that our colleagues in FDAP have had to make the difficult decision to close down, but we are excited that we are in a favourable position to continue their good work.

We look forward to building on our own long history of supporting good practice in drug and alcohol treatment.