Brixton launch for new national drug strategy

Written by on 14 July, 2017 in charity, News - Comments Off on Brixton launch for new national drug strategy
Home Secretary Amber Rudd talks to key worker Ken Davis (right), centre manager Dawn Brecken (second left), and key worker Junior Atkins, during her visit to the Harbour recovery centre in Brixton ahead of the launch of the government's new drug strategy

Home Secretary Amber Rudd talks to key worker Ken Davis (right), centre manager Dawn Brecken (second left), and key worker Junior Atkins during her visit to the Harbour recovery centre in Brixton ahead of the launch of the government’s new drug strategy (PA Images)

Home Secretary Amber Rudd  launched the government’s new drug strategy in Brixton at the Blenheim charity’s Harbour building on Coldharbour Lane.

Both the charity and other experts warned that it will not succeed without adequate funding.

Amber Rudd visited the recovery centre at the Harbour building and met staff and service users.

Blenheim said she witnessed some of the excellent one-to-one support on offer there, learning what it does and its positive impact on the local community.

The charity welcomed the new strategy which, it said, commits to tackling drug-related deaths and places emphasis on harm reduction and evidence-based treatment options.

But, it warned: “Our main concern remains whether there is sufficient funding to implement the strategy, following cuts to services across London.

“We believe in and fully support a focus on both harm reduction and recovery capital as successful and important parts of treatment, and would also like to emphasise the importance of a separate strategy to tackle alcohol addiction, which is an equally important and distinct issue.

Harbour manager Dawn Brecken said: “It was great to show the Home Secretary around the service and talk about how we work with service users to improve their lives.

“We support people on a daily basis, with often complex needs, to build their recovery capital and be part of their local communities again.”

The charity’s concern about the resources to implement the strategy was echoed by Lord Ramsbotham, chair of the drugs, alcohol and justice cross-party parliamentary group, who said: “We welcome the long-awaited drug strategy, for which we have been pressing this last year. We trust that the required resources will also be forthcoming, to make the objectives outlined in the strategy a reality.”

John Jolly, chief executive of Blenheim, agreed, saying: “I welcome the drugs strategy and its renewed focus on reducing drug-related deaths. However it will not have an impact unless local authorities are provided with adequate and ring-fenced resources to deliver it.”

Blenheim supports drug and alcohol users, their families and carers.

Its work is based on the belief that recovery is possible for everyone and that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Its recovery services, which run all over London, provide free, friendly, and non-judgmental support designed to improve the health of the individual and also to have a lasting and positive impact on the wellbeing of their families, friends and the communities in which they live.

For 50 years Blenheim has been pioneering services and social action and is committed to innovating and campaigning for best practice and positive change in the alcohol and substance misuse field.

The Lambeth drug and alcohol treatment consortium operates at the Harbour, providing support for ongoing recovery. It is made up of:

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