Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Help for the Addicts Going Cold Turkey

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Help for the Addicts Going Cold Turkey

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lis Hutchinson

Hundreds of desperate drug addicts will be looking for help after dealers were taken off the streets in dawn raids.

In a wave of drug busts during the past two weeks, officers have arrested 36 suspected pushers as part of Operation Julie.

Now, drug addiction teams are preparing for an influx of users.

Health officials from Newcastle Primary Care Trust are distributing leaflets across Tyneside, offering telephone numbers of helplines.

Police have also issued drugs helpline numbers and say this is now the best possible time to get help.

And drug workers today said the Chronicle's campaign, War on Drugs, was already helping addicts find a way to kick their habits. We launched it after the family of promising young footballer, John Courtney, of Walker, who died from a heroin overdose, bravely agreed to publish a picture of him lying dead from his final fix as a warning to others.

Police officers have swooped on addresses in Byker, Walker, Scotswood, Cruddas Park and Benwell, in Newcastle, and at homes across Gateshead and North Shields.

Drugs, mainly heroin, with a street value of pounds 10,000 were seized and suspected dealers are now facing more than 160 drugs offences.

The raids are part of a wider crackdown on the street supply of class A drugs on Tyneside.

This week's busts follow a series of operations in April where 90 people were arrested after Northumbria's Chief Constable, Mike Craik, announced total policing starts here.

And as the police hail the success of the raids, Mr Craik praised the Chronicle's role.

Organisations such as Newcastle-based Use Drugs Use Us and various other drug addiction agencies are all backed by Northumbria Police.

Lucia Charnock, for the Newcastle Primary Care NHS Trust, said: "As part of the partnership arrangements for drugs services, we were made aware of the planned events. …

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