Cranstoun Drug Services, United Kingdom

Cranstoun Drug Services is a UK based, not for profit, independent NGO and registered charity.  Established in 1969, it has grown incrementally and today provides residential, community and criminal justice services to drug users. Initially based within a residential setting this service expanded beyond its initial links with a single prison to become the Prisoners' Resource Service, providing help, support and release planning to prisoners with problems related to Drugs HIV/AIDS and alcohol in over 40 establishments across the south of England.

In the mid-1990's Cranstoun began to establish community-based services and developed a model known as the Community Drug Agency (CDA). Building upon the easy access facilities of traditional street agencies, Cranstoun CDA's are characterized by elements such as (Tier 1) rapid, attractive and welcoming open access facilities; (tier 2) rapid assessments of needs; and integrated onward transition to a relevant intervention, whether that be (tier 2 and 3) low-threshold support or (tier 4) high-care treatment.

Throughout its existence Cranstoun has influenced the areas of practice and policy development - locally, nationally and internationally. In addition to the work undertaken within the European context, the organization has been a leader in opening, maintaining and developing channels of communication between service providers, service users and policy makers. Examples of this include the establishment and management of conferences and seminars, as well as collaboration with other organizations to develop and accredit evidence-based forms of treatment and interventions to address drug use/misuse.

It aims to provide accessible, high quality services directly to clients and acts as a resource to non-specialist agencies and organizations engaged in working with drug users. Such agencies and organizations include police, probation, prison services, social and health services, housing and employment services, operating both in the statutory and NGO sectors.

Cranstoun's "Choosing to Change" model is a comprehensive approach that addresses drug misuse in a broad social context, with choices about drug-taking being made by individuals, which are influenced by culture and lifestyle.

Cranstoun's commitment to multi-agency, multi-disciplinary working is an organizational strength, which underpins an approach to joint-learning. Cranstoun's length and breadth of experience in service delivery, staff training, networking and openness of approach offer significant opportunities to the proposed network.

The network in turn offers Cranstoun, its staff and clients the opportunity to learn from others. Particularly welcome is the opportunity to develop skills in cross-cultural issues in relation to service delivery .

Working Group

Drug treatment and rehabilitation in prison settings

Contact details

Director:      Mr. Steve Rossell
Focal point:  Ms. Martina Mellis, European Project Manager
Address:      Central Office England: 1st.Floor St. Andrews House,  
                  27-27 Victoria Road, Surbiton, Durrey KT6 4JX, England
                  EU Liason Office: 52 rue Hotel des Monnaies, 
                  1060 Brussels, Belgium.
Phone:         +44-(0)20 8543 8333 / Brussels: +32-2-538-0770
Fax:             +44 (0)20 8543 4348 / Brussels: +32-2-538-0072

© 2006 UNODC