Safer Bristol Scheme Launches Drug Help to LGBT Community

Drug users within the LGBT Community in Bristol will be provided with more support following Bristol City Council’s Safer Bristol scheme being awarded additional help in funding.

The 5 new services (costing £278,000) that have been commissioned by the ‘Safer Bristol’ scheme were launched on 1 September. They have been designed to meet the changing needs of people who want to tackle their use of drugs or alcohol and also to focus on giving support to their families. The funding has been found largely from specific government funds to tackle drug and alcohol misuse.

Recent surveys and research carried out by Safer Bristol staff revealed a significant change in the type of drugs that Bristol people are using. Very small numbers reported use of crack or heroin but a higher number reported use of other substances such as cannabis, ecstasy/MDMA, mephedrone and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). It was found that gay men and those who are bisexual , along with Younger people aged 18 to 24 are among the most likely groups to use a range of substances.

“In Bristol we have very high quality services but we want to ensure that, working with drug treatment agencies, service users and community groups, we will continue providing the right drug treatment services to match the needs of local people and in particular to provide support to families where there is a drug or alcohol problem,” said Gary Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety for Bristol City Council and a member of the Safer Bristol Board. “It is important for society and for alcohol and drug users and their families that we have good services to help people who are concerned about their drug and alcohol use.”

“We have been working to commission services have been shown to be effective in helping people using alcohol and drugs other than opiates. We also wanted to fund services to support people who have child care responsibilities in order to help them achieve recovery and to reduce the risks to their children,” said Mark McNally, Substance Misuse Project Officer for Safer Bristol.

“These services must also contribute to the Safer Bristol Drug and Alcohol treatment plan 2011/12 in line with the national policy of building recovery from drug and alcohol in local communities” he said.

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