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New service to tackle drug or alcohol problems

People with drug or alcohol problems will be given specialist help and support to move on in life thanks to a new service launched in Wolverhampton.

Recovery Near You seeks to put the problems people have with drugs and alcohol behind them and get the skills they need to find a job and rebuild their relationships.

The free and confidential service, commissioned by Wolverhampton City Council and run by crime reduction charity Nacro in partnership with Aquarius and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, was officially launched at Wolverhampton Racecourse.

Graham Beech, Nacro's Strategic Development Director, said: "Nacro, along with its delivery partners, will ensure people receive the right clinical and professional help at the right time so they are helped to overcome their dependence on drugs or alcohol.

"But, at the same time we will ensure that recovery is grounded in communities. Sustained changes never happen on the basis of professional input alone. They always involve something else as well - a job, a business, a relationship, a home, a qualification, or a new connection with the community.

"Recovery Near You recognises that whoever you are, wherever you live, you are not far away from the problems of substance misuse. And however severe the problem is, you are not far away from getting the help and support you need."

Fully qualified staff, volunteers and mentors will be on hand to help with the full range of problems associated with drugs and alcohol and, after addressing any immediate concerns, they will work to bring about the more permanent changes people want in their lives.

The service will work with local employers to include interview practice, skills training, observational placements, work experience, apprenticeships, guaranteed interviews or jobs, and will also work closely with professionals like GPs, pharmacists, social workers and probation officers to help them work more effectively on drug and alcohol related issues.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: "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 4.9 million crimes every year. This service will support young people, families and adults affected by drugs and alcohol in a way that will make a significant difference to our city."

Annette Fleming, Chief Executive of Aquarius, said: "We are looking forward to working in partnership with Nacro and the Trust to develop an innovative and client focussed service for the people of Wolverhampton who have drug and alcohol problems."

Dr George Georgiou, clinical director for addictions at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, added: "Working in partnership with Nacro and Aquarius will enable us to demonstrate the wider focus the NHS is taking in nurturing people back to health from their addictions, with earlier and more effective interventions.

"This exciting and innovative partnership will provide clinical expertise which will benefit service users in Wolverhampton, who will be able to access a range of interventions provided by BSMHFT and its partner agencies."

Anyone who is concerned about their own drinking or drug use, or someone else's, can visit Recovery near you. There are also 2 telephone helplines, one for adults on 0300 200 2400 and one for young people through the related scheme, Wolverhampton 360, on 0300 123 3360.

  • released: Friday 29 November, 2013