Future Search on the Misuse of Alcohol and Drugs


The Belfast Strategic health Partnership wanted to organise a multi-stakeholder workshop to get behind the issues of misuse of alcohol and drugs. Misuse costs society millions of Euros, most of which is spent on intervention – criminal justice, and health and social impacts.

Perspectivity facilitated a Future Search, a large scale intervention to bring the whole system together into one room to jointly plan for a new approach. The central question: How to Change the Culture of Misuse?

The planning group was made up of representatives from the Government and Voluntary Sectors who had many years of experience of working this arena but all the while the results were getting worse. As a result they brought policy makers, criminal justice system, young people, senior health budget holders, voluntary sector intervention suppliers, and most importantly drug and alcohol “abusers” themselves together for a 2.5 day Future Search meeting. Their task was clear and the group responded by creating ten areas for intervention to create real change in the system.

More information?

Contact: Michael Donnelly