New service to help people recover from drug and alcohol addiction
Wolverhampton City Council has agreed an initial three-year contract with substance misuse and crime reduction charity Nacro to deliver a new drug and alcohol treatment service for young people and adults in partnership with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Aquarius.
The service, which was officially launched last week, will focus on helping people overcome their addiction.
It will seek to end their dependence on drugs or alcohol and improve their mental and physical health as well as reducing the number of people admitted to hospital or dying from drug or alcohol-related conditions.
People will also be given help to find and retain a job or accommodation, while reducing their dependency on drugs or alcohol will enable them to have better relationships with friends and family.
Estimates show that there are nearly 2,300 opiate or crack users in Wolverhampton. Of these, around half are currently receiving specialist treatment. Just 13% of the 5,264 dependant drinkers in Wolverhampton are currently receiving treatment.
Nacro’s new service, designed to meet the recent shift in national policy towards recovery-focused support, will increase access to help in the community and provide more outreach-based support.
Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Well-being said: “We need to do more to reduce the number of people who are struggling with drug or alcohol problems.
“Addiction can lead to social problems like crime, unemployment and welfare dependency, but when they are given the help and treatment they need, people use fewer drugs, commit less crime, manage their life better and generally enjoy better health.
“It’s estimated that every £1 spent on drug treatment saves £2.50 in costs to the NHS and wider society, and that nationally drug treatment prevents a staggering 4.9m crimes every year.
“I’m therefore delighted that we’re able to launch this service with Nacro, working alongside Aquarius and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, which is set to have a huge impact on the lives of people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
“Nacro convinced us that it has the vision, determination and capacity to work with us to support young people, families and adults affected by drugs and alcohol in a way that will make a significant difference to our city.”
The contract was awarded following a detailed consultation and procurement process in which a wide range of organisations, service users and staff were invited to develop proposals for the new service.
Graham Beech, Nacro's strategic development director, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Wolverhampton City Council to deliver this crucial service.
“We have been working closely with our partners, Aquarius and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, over a number of months to put together the right solution for Wolverhampton. Now that we have been chosen to manage the contract, we look forward to the opportunity of putting our plans and ideas into action.”
Responsibility for the provision of drug and alcohol treatment services transfers to local authorities this year under Government reforms to the NHS and transfer of public health to councils.
For further information about the new service or details about who to contact for help and support around a drug and alcohol issue, please call 0300 200 2400.
Sourced from Wolverhampton City Council, 12/04/2013