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Displaying items by tag: Drugs



Lifeline is a registered Charity with forty years experience of managing drug and alcohol services. Lifeline currently provides a diverse range of services including recovery and peer mentoring, harm minimization, day programmes, prescribing and shared care, community detoxification services, criminal justice and prison initiatives, family work and services for young people. Their services are spread across Yorkshire, the North East, the North West, London and the Midlands, working within diverse towns, cities and villages.

Currently delivering around 75 services or contracts, they support a workforce of 692 staff, over 250 volunteers, and increasing numbers of peer mentors. They works closely with communities and localities, and produce educative and digital material designed to encourage access to help. They also work towards educating professionals in allied sectors and the general public on substance misuse.


Published in Health Practice



Since the 1960s, Blenheim has worked in different areas of London to provide services and support to people with drug problems and addiction. They provide recovery and learning and development programmes reflecting the multicultural and diverse needs of the communities they work in.

As one service user said: 'Thanks to the training and Blenheim's support, I quickly learned to like, love and respect myself and others. I am a living example of how people can change'.

Published in Drugs Practice

Phoenix Prison Trust work all over the UK and The Republic of Ireland in prisons, young offender institutions, immigration removal centres, secure hospitals and probation hostels.

They offer individual support to prisoners and prison staff through teaching, correspondence, books and newsletters. A key aspect of their work is training and supporting qualified yoga teachers in order to best meet the needs of their clients. People of any faith or no faith can benefit as they honour all religions. They believe benefits for inmates include:

  • Feeling less angry and aggressive
  • Sleeping better
  • Are less prone to taking drugs
  • Are more ready to take up other educational activities
  • Develop self discipline and concentration, often for the first time
  • Find something in themselves they can like, they feel less isolated and encouraged to socialise, which prepares them well for resettlement
Published in Health Practice

Women's Work


Based in Derby, Women's Work supports female substance misusers and in particular those involved in street sex work.  The women are able to visit the drop-in centre and to access a range of  services, over and above counselling and advice, such as laundry facilities, showers, food, and counselling. As a result of this support, many women have successfully exited street sex work, reduced their drug dependency,  improved their confidence and self esteem and are starting to live fulfilled and healthy lives.

Published in User-Voices Practice



Kwads supports both drug users and their carers. They aim to meet the needs in the local community by collaborating with other drug and alcohol service providers across the wider Bristol area, ensuring that everyone has access to services they need.

After an initial assessment, each client is assigned a support worker who helps them to progress through the programme. Kwads also offer an education group training programme running for one evening session a week for 10 weeks. The course looks at themes such as stress, coping, boundaries, and health and wellbeing. It also provides individuals with tools and techniques to cope with difficult situations and emotions.

Published in Drugs Practice

Project 6


Project 6 is an award winning voluntary sector drug and alcohol charity and harm reduction service based in West Yorkshire, working to assist people with drug and alcohol addictions as well as reduce the risks associated with substance abuse and misuse. The services are open access and aimed to help not only the individual, but also friends, families, carers and the wider community. The assistance provided by Project 6 is primarily in the form of free, confidential and non-judgemental advice and support to anyone who needs it, in order to encourage substance users to embrace positive change and promote healthier lifestyles. Service users are always treated with the upmost care and respect and services are always offered in a confidential and judgemental way.

If you would like to find out more about Project 6 then visit the website: www.project6.org.uk/

Published in Drugs Practice

Manchester Action on Street Health (MASH) are a charity specialising in working alongside female sex workers and drug users to encourage sexual health, personal safety and wellbeing. Located in the Greater Manchester area, the dedicated team at MASH comprises of people who originate from a variety of different backgrounds who offer choice, support and empowerment to promote individual positive life changes. Established in 1991, MASH offer a wealth of different services, such as offering information and advice to reduce health risks, raising public awareness, offering women safe alternatives and opportunities to exit sex work, and the promotion of partnerships which bring together legislation, law enforcement and public health interest. 

The outreach services led by staff and volunteers at MASH also offer a variety of pratical support such as contraception, health screenings, pregnancy testing, needle exchange, personal alarms, safety advice and drug referrals. 

You can find out more about the services and support offered by MASH by visiting their website: www.mash.org.uk 

Published in Health Practice

Recovery Cymru


Recovery Cymru is a self-help and support community for people in or seeking recovery from alcohol and drug problems. They have a recovery centre in Cardiff and are currently developing a community in the Vale of Glamorgan as well as with networks in the UK. 

Activities are designed and run by people in recovery, are laid-back, positive and recovery-focused. Through the development of groups, activities and social networks, people have the chance to be a part of a genuine community which offers:

  • Self-help, support, advice and friendship
  • Positive and meaningful ways in which to spend time
  • New skills, hobbies and community networks
  • Relapse prevention/management
  • Awareness raising, advocacy and community building
Published in Drugs Practice



Gasped operates a 24-hour helpline and a drop in facility to support families and carers affected by drug use. There is a database of services for family members to refer to for information.

Gasped also offers a variety of tailor-made drug and alcohol awareness training programmes in Wakefield and the surrounding areas.

Published in Drugs Practice

I have followed with increasing dismay the numerous concerns expressed over the likely implications of the Ministry of Justice's, alarmingly short, six week Transforming Rehabilitation consultation.  If the consultation is implemented without amendments, it could lead to what many fear will be the demise of the Probation Service. Alongside this consultation trundles another legislative milestone in the shape of the Crime and Courts Bill. Contained within the Bill are concerns surrounding the provision that every community sentence should contain at least one punitive element. Reflecting on these developments reminded of a particularly difficult experience that occurred during my time as a probation officer. I was preparing a pre-sentence report on Clare (not her real name) whose index offence was one of threatening behaviour. She had according to the prosecution, persisted in remonstrating about her personal circumstances when faced with potential homelessness from council premises. The police were called to the incident and arrested her and subsequently the magistrates asked that the Probation Service provide a 'fuller picture of this troubled woman's situation'.

I noted on the court papers that the interview for the pre-sentence report might well need to be home–based (in this instance at an address funded by the community mental health services) and arrangements were made for me to visit her. I was used to visiting a high percentage of clients at local hostels and bed and breakfasts. The first meeting with Clare was suffocatingly intimate, in the sense that the B&B room provided was so small I had to write my report notes on my knees as she struggled to articulate her story of increasing marginalisation, vulnerability and an unwelcome dependency on psychotropic medication. Before the visit, I had spoken to her community psychiatric nurse (CPN) so was better prepared to understand the stresses and demands of her situation.

There was some dispute regarding her culpability and as such I was minded to propose to the court that sentence be deferred for between 3-6 months. I would arrange to see her during this time and liaise with her key workers.

I sensed that when the deferment was sanctioned Clare felt 'let down' because deferral was often construed as a prelude to statutory supervision and as such was cited as 'testing motivation'. One day she appeared at the probation office unannounced and insisted that I see her to resolve a number of issues that she believed merited immediate resolution. Hurriedly rescheduling tasks for that day, I accompanied Clare to an interview room and said that I would help as best I could. As I listened to her concerns, she became increasingly distressed. Colleagues in adjacent rooms looked in anxiously to see if my safety was being compromised. I never experienced any fear of potential harm but began to realise that her deep seated issues could not be dealt with on one day. After three hours, and one of the most fraught interviews in my 20 years as a probation officer, Clare left the office weeping inconsolably.

Shortly before her court date at the end of the deferment period, I spoke to Clare by phone and said that a period on a community sentence, shortened perhaps by her deferred sentence, was uppermost in my mind. She accepted that maybe there was some worth in re-engaging with probation, partly to access services that addressed her needs but, just as important, to allow her to explore what she believed to be her 'deeper needs' for some connection to sources of help and support. 

I was profoundly saddened to hear from her key worker that staff at the B&B had discovered Clare's lifeless body in her room when they went to remind her of her appointment with her GP. I subsequently found out that she had taken a fatal overdose and had most probably lain dead over the weekend. The verdict later at her inquest recorded Clare's death as suicide. The court was duly informed of this tragic turn of events. I arranged to see Clare's CPN to try to make sense of this sad outcome. He explained that she had mentioned self harming when he visited her over many years but she had always drawn back from the precipice of self destruction.  I returned to the office full of gloom and disbelief.

But whether further criminalising or indeed 'psychologising' of Clare's disruptive behaviour would have made any difference to the direction her life might have taken, is indeed a moot point. Certainly when I interviewed her for the first time she said that 'everyone needs to have someone to care for them'.  From my point of view, punishment in the community was what Clare had experienced in reality. 

Published in Have your say
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