In this article, clinical psychologist Lloyd Humphreys sets out how people with drug and alcohol addictions are commonly in contact with a bewildering array of organisations, leading to them receiving a fragmented service. He argues that if the service user is put in control of access to their records, they can share their record and their treatment plans with whoever needs to see them – police, probation, social services or the NHS.
This both coordinates care around the individual and has the added benefit of overcoming information-sharing problems between agencies. He goes on to argue that if this is combined with empowering the service user to know what symptoms or behaviours to look for when their health might be deteriorating, their medical teams can step in before a relapse occurs. Lastly, he argues, people with substance misuse problems often feel they’re not in control of their lives. Showing people you trust them to control their medical records, builds confidence all round, with the potential to develop self-belief – perhaps one of the strongest aids to recovery.