Drug Project success

Burngreave Drug Project Team: nominated in the team section for the PCT Chairman's award in 2008.
Burngreave Drug Project Team: nominated in the team section for the PCT Chairman's award in 2008.

Tackling substance misuse in Burngreave is a complicated task. In 2004 the Burngreave Drug Project (BDP) took on the problem, approaching it from all sides.Working in partnership with other organisations, they provided treatments for those struggling with addiction, supported their families and trained the community to be more aware of the issues around substance misuse.

After five years of New Deal and Sheffield DAAT funding, the PCT managed project is making a graceful exit, leaving other city wide services better placed to continue the work.

The staff team are suitably proud of what they have achieved, not just around illegal drugs but also around alcohol and khat use.

Project Manager Simon Youle said:

"The project is coming to a close at the end of this year, the fact that the work done has been recognised so the whole of Sheffield can benefit is a real reflection of how successful we have been. It means the good practice we have demonstrated is to be adopted by the city's existing drug and alcohol services."

The 'good practice' was developed by the hard work and dedication of the BDP team working along side residents and community groups, building strong, positive relationships based on common aims and trust.

Chris Scott, responsible for delivering much of the community training, said,

"We made it our business to know why a Somali young man might not want to come for drugs treatment.We understand why we can't call on him at home.We've developed a better understanding of the community in Burngreave and passed this understanding to other service providers who will carry on the work after we finish."

The police, wardens, housing officers, to name a few professionals, as well as community members have been trained by the project. BDP has received national recognition for the khat awareness and harm reduction training. It has been delivered to the communities using khat in the hope that residents themselves will continue to pass on their knowledge to those who need it most.

Knowing that the project was limited to five years, BDP worked with long standing citywide agencies such as Breakthrough, formerly known as the Sheffield Black Drugs Service, to make sure support would continue in the area into the future. Hardeep Pabla, Breakthrough Service Manager, said:

"We are so proud of the difference Burngreave Drugs Project has made in the neighbourhood over the past five years.We hope to build on their legacy, and see Burngreave continue to deal with drugs head-on."

The impact on individual lives made by projects like BDP is often difficult to see.The following case studies provide a glimpse of the difference they have made.

Supporting a family

As the mother of a large family I face many challenges but none were as great as when I found out my son was involved with drug dealers. I told my health visitor I believed he was running drugs for older men, and dealing cannabis himself, I also believed he was taking drugs too. He would disappear for days on end and I knew these older men were threatening him.

The health visitor told me that she knew a family support worker who could help me at the Burngreave Drug Project. She comes to visit me very regularly and she has got lots of services involved to help me. She helped to fill in the forms for a referral to the Youth Offending Services and my son now has his own worker, which I'm really pleased about as outside school there was no one to support my son.

I'm not sure what the future will be, but I know there are people who care about us and I don't feel so alone.

Taking on Heroin addiction

I was using drugs every day non-stop; I didn't have no money, no family, no friends. I was just down in the dumps, I was injecting crack and heroin together. I got a really good drug worker through the Burngreave Drug Project. She came every week for two years. Now I'm clean and I've had a job, had a baby, really it's just totally different. I feel life's happier and I just feel normal again.The project really helped me, so hopefully I can do something to help people like me working as a drug worker. I'm just grateful cause obviously if I'd have carried on I'd have ended up dead.

Managing alcohol misuse

John is 25.When he first engaged with Burngreave Drug Project, after being referred by his GP, he was drinking six cans of Tennants Super per day. He suffered from anxiety and a bad temper, but he had a young family to look after.

Treatment started by reducing alcohol use at the same time as looking at his anxiety levels which he suffered in crowded places, for example, the bus.The drug project worked on triggers and cravings with him while referring him to the Fitzwilliam Centre for the community detox programme.At the time there was a long waiting list, so the support was split between the Centre and the Drug Project so the work could continue.

So far John has successfully completed detox, his anxiety levels have dropped and he has managed to deal with his anger. He is currently undertaking a course which will qualify him to work on building sites.

Facts and Figures

  • 225 referrals, 75% supported through the Burngreave Drug Project

  • 1050 people trained in drug and alcohol awareness

  • 43 individual family members supported by the family support worker

  • 1500 complementary therapy sessions

Help and support

If you need help or support with issues related to drugs contact:

  • Breakthrough-Sheffield Multi-Ethnic Drug Service: 249 3700

  • Turning Point: 275 5973

  • Sheffield Substance Misuse Service (SHSC): 0845 2450370

Or talk to your GP

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The content on this page was added to the website by Chris Blythe on 2008-09-29 00:08:45.
The content of the page was last modified by Jamie Marriott on 2008-09-29 14:12:52.

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