30th September 2016
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Families’ relief as drugs support set to continue

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A group for families of drug and alcohol abusers has welcomed the offer of a continuation of the community alcohol and drug service through Market House.

A member of the group was speaking after their meeting place at the long-established service in Commercial Street was closed at astonishingly short notice last week.

The woman, who declined to be identified to protect her family’s identity, said that the members of Families Affected by Drugs and Alcohol (known as the Fab Group) were “very pleased” that they could continue to meet and hoped that a similar level of service would continue for drug users and their families alike.

But she also questioned the speed and secrecy with which the Community Alcohol and Drugs Services Shetland had been closed.

Representatives of both CADSS and NHS Shetland had met with the Fab group two days before the Commercial Street office of CADSS closed its doors last Thursday but had been unable to get confirmation of the fate of the service.

CADSS closed after it considered funding of £65,000 offered by the Integration Joint Board to cover the employment of one full-time and one part-time worker to be insufficient. This was a reduction from £165,000 the service had last year and reflects a reduction in the level of service that CADSS provided under a restructured service.

Simon Bokor-Ingram has been appointed director of community health and social care.

Simon Bokor-Ingram: “It is disappointing that we do not have CADSS any more.”

Joint board chief officer Simon Bokor-Ingram said yesterday that the board was continuing to put £700,000 into drug and alcohol services in Shetland and he was confident the redesign would see money spent as efficiently as possible on the recovery of abusers.

The amount coming from the Scottish government had reduced but the final budget settlement would only be known at the end of May.

“I want to reassure people that what we have in place is a robust service. I would emphasise that the whole thrust has been to ensure that we can offer a really good recovery service,” said Mr Bokor-Ingram.

“It is disappointing that we do not have CADSS any more but everything is in place [to replace it] and we are going to add more capacity to our young person’s service.”

He said that a post had very recently been set up in the children’s mental health service that would cover the young person’s service provided by CADSS and this would be strengthened by an additional post that will be filled shortly and combine schools education.

An interim arrangement is in place for a Monday morning drop in service at the Salvation Army Hall at Grantfield which allows people who think they may have a problem to seek advice in an informal setting from a nurse or other drug worker. The first session had been on Monday and it will continue next week.

Needle exchanges are also continuing to operate from town pharmacies to replace the service that was available at CADSS.

Meanwhile the Fab member urged people to pluck up the courage to attend Fab meetings as the support that can be provided is invaluable.

She said that the families of drug and alcohol abusers were under tremendous, potentially harmful, pressure from all directions, including the social stigma of living in a small community, and a great deal of support could be received once that first step was taken.

AboutPeter Johnson

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as an employed and freelance reporter and editor for a variety of print and broadcast media outlets and as as a freelance photographer and film maker/cameraman. In addition to journalism, I have experience in construction, oil analysis, aquaculture, fisheries, the health service and oral history.

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One comment

  1. Steven Jarmson

    This whole situation is a compete mess.
    Those running CADSS have known for quite sometime that the service would close when it did.
    I have known for at least 6 months that it was closing around now.
    The new NHS service is insufficient to meet the needs of anyone but the very well paid staff.
    The Shetland Drugs Project was set up around 20 years ago because many drug (ab)users don’t want to seek help or advice via the NHS. Thus, the third sector stepped and did a very good job for many years. The amalgamation with the older serviceThis whole situation is a compete mess.
    Those running CADSS have known for quite sometime that the service would close when it did.
    I have known for at least 6 months that it was closing around now.
    The new NHS service is insufficient to meet the needs of anyone but the very well paid staff.
    The Shetland Drugs Project was set up around 20 years ago because many drug (ab)users don’t want to seek help or advice via the NHS. Thus, the third sector stepped and did a very good job for many years. The amalgamation with the longer established Alcohol Advice service made sense as many people have issues with both drugs and alcohol.
    But, the service CADSS offered wasn’t just about those using alcohol and drugs, it was as much about creating support networks for them and their families. It provided advice, it worked on the concept of prevention rather than cure.
    The things I have heard about the new service reminds me of a story I once heard about a little Dutch boy who put his finger into a hole in a wall.
    It’s unbelievable that CADSS has been allowed to close.
    The new service will tick all the right boxes for our masters in Edinburgh who know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.
    I very much doubt the new service will have the same positive impact that CADSS did.
    I hope I am wrong.

    Reply

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