Drug and booze services shaken up

DRUG and alcohol services in the borough have undergone the biggest shake-up in almost a decade.

New services have been developed and existing services re-launched to meet the needs of people who are having problems with alcohol or drugs.

To support this work, a free 24-hour confidential helpline has been set up on 0800 389 4463 to make it easier for people to get help.

Coun Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council's cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said: "We want people to know that help is available if they have a drug or alcohol problem, or know someone who has.

"The free 0800 389 4463 helpline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And if they need to see someone, we will ensure they are seen within two days.

"The important thing is that we make it as easy as possible for people with drug and alcohol problems to get in touch and get help."

An advertising campaign to raise awareness of the local services on offer, and encourage people with drink and drug problems to get help was launched on May 23 to coincide with National Tackling Drugs Day.

As well as a mobile hoarding being driven through Wigan's streets this includes posters in public buildings and advertising.

Nicola Yates, Wigan's assistant director for community safety, said: "The Wigan and Leigh Community Safety Partnership in Wigan is committed to providing the right support to individuals, their families and the communities where they live, to help them achieve a better quality of life.

"We want to make sure that people can access the right help and support when they need it. The choice of services we now have on offer, with more to come over the next year, will make sure help is available when people need it most."

The services cover everything from health advice to intensive treatment for people who want to cut down or stop using drink or drugs.

Action is also being stepped up to treat those people who commit crimes because of their drug or alcohol use.