Local news from the substance misuse field

Prison visitDuchess of cambridge visits treatment programme

The Duchess of Cambridge visited HMP Send this month to see a RAPt addiction service in action.
The programme, based in a standalone women-only unit, is an intensive 12-step drug and alcohol programme. The Duchess heard personal stories from some of the women about their experiences with addiction and crime, and how the programme was helping them to overcome their addiction.

‘I was reminded today how addictions lie at the heart of so many social issues and how substance misuse can play such a destructive role in vulnerable people’s lives,’ she said. ‘I saw again today that a failure to intervene early in life to tackle mental health problems and other challenges can have profound consequences for people throughout
their lives.’
Film festRecovery film festival draws to a close

The Recovery Street Film Festival ended its nationwide tour in Sheffield on 26 September, after showcasing short films made by people in recovery to audiences across the UK to raise awareness of drug and alcohol problems.
The pop-up cinema event – organised by Addaction, Action on Addiction, Blenheim, Northumberland Recovery Partnership, Phoenix Futures and Turning Point – toured across Durham, Blyth, Manchester, Glasgow, London and Sheffield over two weeks during recovery month.

The aim of the festival was to reduce stigma surrounding drug and alcohol problems by showing the public three-minute films of personal accounts of addiction and how people’s lives have changed. The top ten films entered into a competition run earlier this year were chosen by a panel of judges, with the top three entries winning £1,000 worth of prizes.

‘The Recovery Street Film Festival has been a huge success and we received a great response from members of the public and people in recovery who volunteered to help run the individual events,’ said Bob Campbell, Recovery Street Film Festival organiser. ‘We hope the festival has challenged the public’s views about people who have overcome addiction, and given hope to people who are currently being affected by problems with drugs and alcohol that there is possibility of a better future.’


Primary schools asked to think again about alcohol

Drug and alcohol charity Swanswell is asking primary schools to re-evaluate their relationship with alcohol at events such as school fetes and sports days.

Research by the charity suggests that around one in three primary schools in England are serving alcohol to adults at events aimed at children. Swanswell is calling for a change to licensing laws, so that any application from a primary school to serve alcohol at events aimed at children is refused. It is also asking schools to think again before gifting alcohol in raffles or allowing children to take in alcoholic end of year gifts for teachers.


Hope festivalTruro festival celebrates recovery

A ‘festival of hope’ was held this month at Boscawen Park in Truro to celebrate the recovery successes of people in Cornwall.
The day, organised by Addaction volunteers and staff, was opened by Truro’s mayor Cllr Lorrie Eathorne-Gibbons. To keep the crowds entertained, there was live music, good food and local stalls – as well as the opportunity to hear from people who shared their own stories of recovery and volunteering.

The event raised more than £1,000 for Addaction’s Cornwall recovery cafés. One volunteer, Mat Wilkin, raised £500 himself by having his head shaved on the day.


StoptoberService users offered support to quit smoking

Local people in recovery in Doncaster are being offered support to help them quit smoking.

Staff from Doncaster Drug and Alcohol Service (DDAS), run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), have been trained to give stop smoking advice and are working with individuals to try to reduce their risk of premature death.

A number of service users have already quit since the start of 2015, and DDAS is encouraging those who use its services to take part in the ‘Stoptober ‘challenge. DDAS will be offering support, as well as nicotine replacement, across all its Doncaster premises.