Day Centre E Helps Free Om People Fro Addictions S; HEALTH Reporter HELEN RAE Takes a Look at Why the Spotlight Has Been Put on Drugs Support in Tyneside

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Byline: HELEN RAE

ANEW campaign is highlighting the help available in Tyneside for those who want to turn their lives around and stop using drugs.

A group of 13 former drug users, now in recovery, are helping to spread the message about drug services across the region along with posters and leaflets which ask 'Had enough of drug use? Sick and tired of being sick and tired?' The campaign, which directs people to a freephone telephone service, is being run by Gateshead Primary Care Trust, which is part of NHS South of Tyne and Wear, in partnership with local substance misuse services.

Together, the services provide a wide range of treatment programmes including prescribing, counselling, residential rehabilitation and the support available from mutual aid groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.

Latest figures report that a third of all adults in England drugs at lifetime use is h aged un The U to be the heroin although reducin d have used illicit t least once in their e and problem drug highest among adults der 25.

UK is also estimated e largest consumer of in Western Europe, h heroin use is g among young people.

rt Thompson, commr of substance misuse s in Gateshead, said: e who regularly drugs often suffer roblems in areas of ves.

Stuar issioner services "People misuse from pr their liv "Drug to serio relation work a and ma charges an incre injury, death.

g addiction can lead ous problems with nships and family, nd financial issues ay lead to criminal as well as creating eased risk of personal illness and even li cam help active recover benefite mutual approac effective States. "There is a lot of support available in Gateshead to anyone wanting to break free from their habit and to ive a fulfilled life. "This latest poster mpaign highlights the available and is ly supported by the ry advocates who have ed from treatment or aid groups. This ch has proven highly e in the United "Reco working workers one-to-o services experie awarene unities. overy advocates are g alongside outreach s to talk to people on a one basis about s and their recovery nce and raise ess in local commaim is to make y visible and to show that it is achievable. t to demonstrate that y is a reality in ead."

"Our recovery people t We want recovery Gateshe The point ac used b carers professi be plac with th misuse freephone single ccess helpline can be by patients, users, and health ionals and they will ed directly in touch he appropriate drug services in the region.

As part of the campaign, posters and leaflets will appear across Gateshead and on public transport.

The team will also visit areas with the highest prevalence of drug misuse to drop into community centres, GP practices and housing offices and will post the leaflets door-to-door.

A study by the North East Ambulance Service showed that from April 2008 to March 2009, as many as 3,604 people were treated for issues related to drugs.

As those A new day centre has been set up by The Cyrenians charity in Gateshead which offers 12 weeks of structured, abstinencebased programme "own home there is opportunity to practice have learnt treatment for people with serious drug and alcohol problems. …