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Medications in Drug Treatment: Tackling the Risks to Children

Over the past decade, a number of children have been killed or seriously harmed through ingesting drug treatment medication prescribed to their parents and carers.

In light of these incidents, in 2014 Adfam published a research report, Medications in drug treatment: Tackling the risks to children (pdf). This analysed learning from Serious Case Reviews, explored current literature and guidance on the issue, canvassed the views of frontline practitioners and experts, and recommended ways of improving safety.

A year after the publication of the report, Adfam produced a new research report, Medications in drug treatment: Tackling the risks to children – one year on (pdf) to build on the original work by looking at progress made in the last year, providing updated statistics and information, and giving recommendations to practitioners and policymakers on how to reduce risk and the incidence of these tragic occurrences.

In 2018 Adfam produced a guide, Opioid Substitute Treatment (OST) and risks to children: Good Practice Guide (pdf), for practitioners to implement some of the learning from the research. The guide is for any practitioner who comes into contact with parents (or those living with children) using substances and their children.

  • Children & young people
  • Parenting
  • Safeguarding