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Overhaul for drug and alcohol services
A £4.28m overhaul of drug and alcohol services is taking place in North Yorkshire, to make the service simpler and more effective.
There are currently 13 services offered by nine different organisations to people with drug and alcohol problems.
A report by North Yorkshire County Council has looked at the current system and recommends bringing all the different agencies together to create a county-wide service.
It says professionals and people using the service found the current system “unduly complex”. The report also found this help was not distributed evenly across the county.
The council’s Substance Misuse Partnership Board took over service provision from North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust in March.
A consultation over the current system found broad support for an overhaul of the system and a stronger focus on helping dependent drug and alcohol users recover.
North Yorkshire County Council approved funding of £3.9m for the project on Tuesday (August 13).
The rest of the funding will come from £3.6 million from the ring-fenced Public Health Grant, and £266,000 from budgets that are currently committed to adult substance misuse service provision by North Yorkshire County Council.
The remaining funding is being committed by North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, who is committing £118,000 and North Yorkshire Police, who is committing £41,000.
Contracts for the new service will now be tendered and it should be up and running in May next year.
North Yorkshire’s director of public health, Dr Lincoln Sergeant: “This isn’t because we’re unhappy with the sterling work of the existing service providers.
“We’re just using this opportunity to reorientate the service so it doesn’t just treat people, but provides a range of support and make it a bit less complex and easier so people with problems and their families can get into the system easier and also negotiate the services better."
He added: “For example, if you have a drug and alcohol problem you can go to one service for drugs misuse and one for alcohol and you can begin to see how difficult that will be, particularly for people in crisis.”
One of the main focuses for the new service will be to help people recover and live with dependency on substances, particularly those who have been receiving treatment for several years for issues such as heroin addiction.
Dr Sergeant said after the restructuring there should still be room for a lot of the smaller organisations currently offering help.
“There’s some smaller organisations worried about losing their funding and we’re certainly aware of that,” he said.
“We do hope a lot of them can group together with others to continue. But the whole idea of how we support people with addiction is our service will do some of this work, but we also need local people with things going on in their communities.”
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