Trust works to offer drugs support in the community

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In recent weeks members of the public and local politicians have expressed grave concern about the increasing drug problem in Banbridge.

In the Banbridge area independent sector services are provided by the Southern Drugs and Alcohol team alongside the voluntary sector to tackle the issue.

“In Banbridge, statutory services work closely with the Voluntary and Community sector to provide care which is tailored to each individual’s needs,” explained a spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

“Statutory addiction services work closely with Opportunity Youth to provide services on a partnership basis.

“The Community Addictions Team provides a range of assessment, care, treatment and support services throughout the Trust area including alcohol dependency withdrawal programmes. The team provides clinics in nine community-based locations in Banbridge, Armagh, Craigavon, Dungannon, and Newry and Mourne. Staff provide one-to-one and group treatment using a combination of motivational techniques, including cognitive behavioural therapy, psychotherapy, and counselling type skills.”

She continued: “As part of its local delivery plan, Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership supports related projects delivered by the Southern Trust and works with appropriate local partners such as REACT Ltd. “Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership also recently secured £5,700 from the criminal seized assets fund to develop a drug and alcohol misuse programme with target groups.”

The Trust’s Promoting Wellbeing Division has developed a number of skills based training programmes for youth and community workers and others who work directly with young people, including ‘Bounce’. The purpose of Bounce is to enable young people to develop and improve their self-esteem, to gain specific knowledge in relation to alcohol and drugs and other health and wellbeing issues and to learn more about and to challenge their own and others’ risk taking behaviour. This course has been delivered across the Southern area since 2007 and a training programme for youth and community workers, including those in Banbridge, took place in September.

REACT, which provides support on drug and alcohol issues, has a drop-in centre at 5 Castlewellan Road, Banbridge.

The office can be contacted on 028 4062 8829 or via email