Dr Day is a clinician and academic with expertise in this field and experience in dealing directly with those who are dependent on drugs.
He has helped to develop national clinical guidance on drug recovery and his appointment will help drive forward the aims of the government’s Drug Strategy and Serious Violence Strategy.
Working with ministers, Dr Day will agree an annual delivery plan for drug recovery which will set out his objectives and the key issues he will explore.
He will also support collaboration between partners such as local authorities, housing groups and criminal justice agencies at national and local levels, offering advice on best practice when it comes to treatment and recovery.
Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:
As well as preventing people from using drugs in the first place, it is vital we give those who are recovering from their addiction the support and treatment they need.
I’m grateful to Dr Day for bringing his expertise and experience to the role of Drug Recovery Champion. His work will make a real difference to the lives of those suffering the misery of drug dependency.
Dr Day will seek to address the stigma faced by people with drug or alcohol issues when it comes to finding work and securing housing. He will also act as a ministerial envoy, visiting communities, treatment providers and local recovery champions.
He will update the Drug Strategy Board on progress on the delivery plan, as well as recommendations for improvements in services that promote recovery. The board, chaired by the Home Secretary, meets twice a year to drive the implementation of the Drug Strategy. Members include secretaries of state and ministers from across government, and drug service experts.
Dr Day said:
I look forward to taking on this role with the aim of bringing together people with lived experience of recovery from drug problems and those with professional skills in this area to promote effective interventions and approaches.
Dr Day will carry out his role for three years alongside his positions as clinical reader in addiction psychiatry at the University of Birmingham and consultant psychiatrist at the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
In February, the Home Secretary appointed Professor Dame Carol Black to lead a major review that will examine the ways in which drugs are fuelling serious violence as well as the harms that drugs cause and the best ways to prevent drug-taking.
As the review will have a direct impact on the treatment and recovery system, Dr Day will play a key role in taking forward Dame Carol’s recommendations.
Dame Carol has published a call for evidence on drug use, supply, harms and interventions as part of the information-gathering phase of her review and will report her initial findings to the Home Secretary this summer.
Find more details on the call for evidence.