Addictions North East have been closely involved in AUK’s action research work and have supported it through sharing our own records, consultations, and developments. We are committed to further investment in this vital work. Unless there is more multi-agency co-operation, our respective service users will once again be failed by administrative incompetence.

Addictions UK have been concerned about the complexities of addictions when they are coupled with neurodivergent conditions for several years. We noticed that a high proportion of our service users were presenting with neurodivergent conditions and this was resulting in complex barriers towards accessing services. Feeling strongly that this was something that we could no longer ignore, we brought together a small team of researchers and experts and began our investigations.

Early on in our investigations, we identified that both commissioned substance misuse services, and conversely those specifically designed for those with neurodivergent conditions, may not be equipped to meet the needs of those affected by these conditions combined. We found this situation to be compounded by limited research in the field and thus little knowledge to influence policy and practice.

We began to think about the possibilities for joined up policy and practice for people with addictions and neurodiversity conditions, and what might need to be done to achieve those. This report documents our journey so far.

Addictions UK is now positioning itself as a catalyst towards bringing together the two domains of addiction and neurodiversity. Our intention is to work collaboratively towards promoting and disseminating good practice and building a robust knowledge base to influence social policy. Ultimately, so that those with addictions coupled with neurodivergent conditions have better outcomes and become self-empowered and have more promising futures.