Page 1

The Fix is an electronic newsletter issued by CAST (Community Action Support Team for Drugs and Alcohol) which is a partnership between ASCERT and FASA. This service is funded by The Public Health Agency. Drug and Alcohol misuse is something that affects all communities and sectors and this newsletter will provide information on things like training opportunities, what helping services are available, drug information and issues that are in the news.

There are enormous benefits of having a smoke-free life. Not only will potential quitters benefit from better health for themselves and their families, but they will also have more money to spend on other things. Smoking 20 cigarettes a day will cost the smoker on average £42 a week, or £182 a month, which is approximately £2,190 per year. Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death in Northern Ireland. One in every two smokers die early because of their smoking habit. It is for this reason that the PHA funds a range of services to help people stop smoking and protect non smokers from second hand smoke. Dr Carolyn Harper, Director of Public Health for Northern Ireland, said: “In the past year almost one in every 10 adult smokers in Northern Ireland used our stop smoking services. This is very encouraging and proof to every smoker doubting their ability to quit that it is possible – they too can succeed in quitting because so many others have done so. I would like to applaud the work of everyone involved in providing stop smoking services – without their hard work, many more people in Northern Ireland would be living with a smoking-related illness. But most importantly, I would like to congratulate everyone who has stopped smoking successfully, or who has taken the first step on the path to a healthier life by deciding to quit.”

News More Smokers Turn Their Back On Tobacco Figures from the Public Health Agency (PHA) show that across Northern Ireland, a remarkable 33,833 smokers took the first step to a healthier life by availing of „stop smoking‟ services (April 2010 to the end of March 2011). This is an increase of 44% from the previous year.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said: “There is a lot of help and advice out there for people who want to stop smoking. It‟s not easy doing it alone and that is why more and more people are accessing the services available such as getting help with devising a quit plan, accessing top tips and advice and you can also receive a free quit kit at The Minister continued: “There really is no time like the present, don‟t leave it till tomorrow. There is help out there and I urge anyone who is toying with the idea of quitting to get in contact with the PHA‟s stop smoking services – it really could save your life. For further information on stop smoking services available in localities across Northern Ireland, phone the Smokers‟ Helpline on 0808 812 8008 or go to

If you have any news that you would like to be included in any forthcoming editions click here. Please send article in Microsoft Word attachment with photos you wish to have included.


Recommended safe limits for drinking alcohol by older people should be cut, according to a report.

Dr Stefan Janikiewicz is a general practitioner from the Wirral and Cheshire region and was also one of the report‟s authors. “There is increased pressure to glean information from patients and act on these findings. Smoking and alcohol are still the most common forms of substance misuse that affect all age groups. Increasingly GPs are responding to these issues.” He warns that GPs have to work with specialist service and other health workers.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists says people over 65 should drink a maximum of only 1.5 units of alcohol a day. That is the equivalent of just over about half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine. The report says older drinkers are less able to process alcohol and the drink might also interact with medication they may be taking for other ailments.

There has been an angry reaction from many older people to the suggestion that they should cut down on their drinking. The editor of Saga magazine, Emma Soames stated: “As people‟s horizons narrow, as they get older eating and drinking are one of the few pleasures that remain with them for a very long time. And going to the pub is the last social activity for many people.” Dr Shenker, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern said the problems of older drinkers are often ignored. “W hile younger excessive drinkers often make the headlines, we should remember that older people often turn to alcohol in later life as a coping mechanism and this can remain stubbornly hidden from view. This report calls for much greater recognition that excessive drinking in older age is both widespread and preventable, particularly if public health professionals are supported and trained to spot the signs and take appropriate action.”

It warns current advice – 14 units of alcohol for women and 21 for men each week – is based on work with young adults. A group of experts from the Royal College of Psychiatrists says there is a growing problem with substance abuse among older people, who they describe as societies “invisible addicts”. The report says a third of those who experience problems with alcohol abuse do so later on in life, often as a result of big changes like retirement bereavement or feelings of boredom, loneliness and depression. But the extent of the drinking is hidden because unlike younger drinkers, more older people drink in their own homes – the report suggests. The problem is exacerbated by the widespread use and misuse of prescribed and over the counter medicines among elderly people which can interact badly with alcohol. Compounding the problem are the changes our bodies undergo as we get older which mean we are less able to cope with the effects of alcohol. The report is calling for the government to issue separate advice on safe drinking limits for older people, with an upper “safe limit” of 1.5 units of alcohol a day or 11 units per week.

In a statement, Age UK said “Age UK fully supports moves to encourage GPs to do more to identify people who are drinking too much and the importance of raising awareness among older people about safe drinking levels.” A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said action was being taken to tackle problem drinking, such as plans to stop supermarket selling alcohol at below cost prices. She added “Individuals have responsibilities too and everyone should drink responsibility within the recommended alcohol limits. All advice is kept under review. We welcome any addition to the evidence base in this area and will consider this report carefully.”

What Is Addiction?

They also want GPs to screen every person over the age of 65 for substance misuse along with health campaigns around drugs and alcohol specifically targeting older people. Professor Ilana Crome, Professor of Addiction Psychiatry and chair of the group that wrote the report says it is a hidden problem but one that is growing in scale. “The traditional view is that alcohol misuse is uncommon in older people and that the misuse of drugs is very rare – this is simply not true. A lack of awareness means that GPs and other health care professionals often overlook or discount the signs when someone has a problem. We hope the report highlights the scale of the problem, and that the multiple medical and social needs of this group of people are not ignored any longer.”

How much do we understand about addiction? What causes it and why do some people become addicts while others do not? Addiction is naturally associated with alcohol and other drugs, but that is not the whole picture. As the NHS points out people can “become addicted to anything, from gambling to chocolate.” Addiction has to start with exposure, and at some point, casual or recreational use shifts to dependence.

GPs are often those who stand the best chance of spotting when someone has a problem.


Alcohol and drugs are connected to homicide and suicide rates in Northern Ireland

Dr Gillian Tober, president of the Society for the Study of Addiction, said all addiction has to start with first use. “It is usually for social reasons – boyfriend, girlfriend, group of friends – its usually not pleasant but there is a social reward.”

An independent report has suggested that alcohol and drug use is linked with the level of homicide and suicide in Northern Ireland. It states that the problem is greatest among young people, with mental illness, substance abuse, drink, previous self-harm and deprivation contributing to most cases, the University of Manchester study added.

This then becomes reinforced. “People say their first cigarette is disgusting. Some say never again, some break through and reveal the pharmacological effect.” Drugs directly feed the reward circuitry of the brain, and even in cases such as gambling the brain can learn to look forward to the thrill. The brain adapts to the drug, becomes tolerant to it and demands more each time. Physiological dependence – addiction- emerges. But not everyone becomes addicted. A great many people drink, even fewer are heavy drinkers, and even fewer become dependent. Ilana Crome, a professor of addiction psychiatry at Keele University, said great progress had been made in recent years in understanding why that is.

There were 332 suicides of young people over a nine-year period and last year, the number of suicides reached its highest figure ever. Research author Professor Louis Appleby said: "In homicide and suicide generally, alcohol misuse was a more common feature in Northern Ireland than in the other UK countries and a broad public health approach, including better dual diagnosis of mental illness and alcohol or drug misuse, health education and alcohol pricing, should be seen as key steps towards reducing the risk of both homicide and suicide.

“We‟re beginning to understand the variety of mechanisms in the addictive process, but do we know exactly what causes addiction? We don‟t. it seems to touch the very essence of behaviour, making it very difficult to research and understand.” Doctors cannot point to a „single cause‟ of why addictions develop. There are however some risk factors.

"In particular, there needs to be a focus on developing new services for young people with substance misuse problems."

The chair of the Faculty of Addictions at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, puts the risks into three categories. "One way to describe addiction is to think about it as a disorder with biological, psychological and social aspects."He said that research suggests "people who are vulnerable to addiction may be 'wired' differently" particularly in the brain's orbito-frontal cortex. "This part of the brain is involved in the weighing up of the pros and cons of a particular action, in other words, decision making."Psychological trauma, such as through childhood neglect or bereavement, is common, he said.

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness was commissioned by the Public Health Agency. A total of 1,865 suicides occurred in the general population in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2008, equivalent to 207 per year. This rate is higher than the UK average but lower than that in Scotland. There were 533 suicides in current mental health patients.

On the social level he lists living where drugs are easily available or having friends who are addicted as well as poor housing and social deprivation. However there are clearly many cases which do not fit these risk factors.

According to Health Minister Edwin Poots, there were 313 suicides in Northern Ireland last year. He said the upward trend in the number of deaths has occurred despite strenuous suicide efforts across the statutory, community and voluntary sectors.

Harry Shapiro, from the charity Drug Scope, says addiction is a "complicated phenomenon with a combination of risk factors". He said it was "impossible to pick people most likely to become addicted, it's such an individual thing."

Prof Appleby added: "High rates of substance misuse and dependence run through this report and, as we rely on information known to clinicians, our figures are likely to underestimate the problem.

Prof Crome said: "We can't predict exactly who will become addicted, but many people who are from a difficult background who might be predicted to develop a problem don't and that is a fascinating thing."

"Alcohol misuse was a factor in 60% of patient suicides and this appears to have become more common during the course of the study period. Alcohol dependence was also the most common clinical diagnosis in patients convicted of homicide, with more than half known to have a problem prior to conviction." To read more click here



New Model For Dealing With Substance Abuse In The Colin Area.

New Initiative Planned For North and West Belfast

The Colin Drug and Alcohol Forum held a conference at Cloona House on the 4th July, to launch a New Model of Partnership that will help to tackle drug and alcohol abuse in the area.

CAST has recently secured funding for a new project to run in the area. The funding was sourced from North Belfast Community Safety Partnership to provide drug disposal bins in the Skegoniel/Glandore and Newlodge areas. The funding was provided through the PSNI Asset Recovery and Distinct Policing Partnership (DPP), the partnerships has worked closely with CSW and PSNI officers involved to help address the growing concern of both illegal and illegal drug use within the area and gain their support to promote this initiative within their communities. RAPID (Remove all Prescription and Illicit Drugs) aims to reduce the supply of controlled drugs within the area and provide the community with an appropriate means to dispose of drugs. Two drugs bins will be located in the Skegoniel/Glandore area one at Glandore GP Surgery and the other in the main entrance of the Grove Health and Wellbeing Centre. These bins will be clearly marked inside the premises and all forms of drugs both legal and illegal can be safely disposed of here during the businesses opening hours. Individuals can also place any information regarding drugs into these boxes to help assist PSNI of with their investigations. To date over 12,000 prescription drugs have been handed in through the one current drugs bin located in Tiger bays, this has been a great success and is evidence that this initiative can work if all members of the community are supportive of the work the community safety partnerships are trying to achieve.

The New Model will map the provision of services across Colin, identifying gaps and setting regular priorities for work in order to reduce alcohol and drug related harm. The Colin Drug and Alcohol Forum is an inter-agency group made up of statutory, voluntary and community agencies that work in the Colin area and that are committed to provide information ,advice and guidance on drug and alcohol related issues through a local partnership approach. Fergal McCann from CAST (Community Action Support Team) said the New Model of working would provide a more effective service for those who need it most. “It will draw together agencies from local and statutory government bodies, health service providers and community organisations,” said Fergal. “The New Model will enable all agencies involved to provide and effective and efficient service for all in the Colin community.” Fellow Forum member, Michael George, Community Safety Officer with the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership (CNP) said, “We welcome this New Model and feel it is a great way forward to address the issue of drugs and alcohol. Since the inception of the Forum, one of the stumbling blocks has been a duplication of services and identifying gaps in those services. There are 26 organisations with some form of remit for drug and alcohol work in the Colin area yet there is no effective body to co-ordinate their efforts. This Model will help tackle this and provide a more thorough approach for those who find themselves dealing with alcohol and drug related issues.”


On 21 September a health awareness event was held in Castleton Bowling Club to launch the initiative and promote support services to those who may like to address any concerns they may have with drugs both legal and illegal or alcohol. Various complimentary treatments and a number of other information stands addressing community safety where also at the event.

Speaking at the conference, West Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann said, “The prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse is an unfortunate reality for individuals and families throughout the area. The Colin Drug and Alcohol Forum was created so that agencies could work together to ensure adequate service provision within the community. This New Model will help support those who may find themselves requiring the assistance of drugs and alcohol support services.”

Drug awareness programmes for young people are also being delivered through this funding to help raise awareness of the danger of drugs and encourage these young people to promote the RAPID initiative within the youth of each of the communities. Newlodge have yet to confirm their location at time of press for this article but information will follow in the next addition of the FIX.



Give Drugs the Red Card

Christopher Shaw Cup is an annual tournament organised by volunteers from Newhill Football Club and Youth Soccer Tournament. This event was held during the last weekend in August over two venues Boucher Road Playing Fields and Blanch Flower, a total of 38 teams from all parts of Northern Ireland participated in the 3 day tournament bringing with them large groups of supporters. During the final days of both tournaments a family fun day theme was also incorporated to encourage family members to participate in the event. As with any event being held this was made a success by all the volunteers and funders (particularly Belfast City Council who funded all four tournaments) who seen the value in this tournament. During these tournaments numerous clubs have seen the value in the Give drugs the red card initiative and approached the CAST workers to receive the drug awareness training for their coaches and promote the program in their areas.

Give Drugs The Red Card is a campaign and prevention program targeted at all types of sporting groups with the aim of educating and informing coaches on drug awareness and where to signpost people who need help. The initiative also works with local clubs and organisations to provide drug awareness training and to host football tournaments to help promote and encourage participation within the sporting field. Over the last 2 years Give Drugs the RED Card have worked in partnership with numerous local and statutory organisations to develop and implement various large football tournaments over all parts of Belfast. Over the past few years we have been greatly supported by Belfast City Councils Pete Murray, Antisocial Behaviour Co-ordinator for Parks who has supported the CAST team especially during the summer months of July and August this year. The community support workers were able to work on four sporting tournaments or events across Belfast City. These included EDACT Interventional Cup – North Belfast, Street by Street League – South Belfast, Victoria Park Sports Day – East Belfast and Christopher Shaw Cup – West Belfast. These tournaments or events may have varied in size and duration but all had the same principles in mind: have fun, promote a healthier lifestyle through football and become involved in the Give drugs the red card initiative. The events were able to draw around 2,500 people into our local parks with the aim of promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Street by Street League is a new drive by the Mount Community Association to draw together young people from Inner East Belfast, Lower Woodstock and Lagan Village with the aim of building a stronger community through providing diversionary programmes, training and education. This was the first year for the Street By Street league and with the assistance of the CAST team form FASA and EXIT, an eight week football coaching and tournament is being run in Ormeau Park, South/East Belfast. Approximately 100 young people from the age of 7 to 25 have been meeting each week for two hours to participate in a programme that consists of football skill sessions, drugs awareness and tournament matches. The teams have been made up of local young people from the surrounding streets varying between young boys and girls as well as a mixture of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds including Nigerian and Polish and have showed a great commitment to participate over the eight weeks. The tournament has had various interested

EDACT Interventional Cup is now in its third year in partnership with Loughside FC, the tournament is held every year during the last week of August at Grove Playing fields and caters for age groups from Under 10‟s to seniors. Each year over 32 teams participate in this tournament from all parts of Belfast, with a large volume of people attending to play or as spectators, this is a great opportunity for the members of CAST to promote local drug and alcohol services and encourage clubs to gain drug awareness training. We have been able to use this event to engage a number of clubs to participate in training from the coaches with Understanding Substance Misuse a Guide for Coaches to parent through TATI and other parenting courses and even the young people who have taken part in Targeted Education which focuses on delivering a prevention model through informal training. The CAST Team have always looked forward to this event as host team Loughside Football Club always provide a pleasant environment with top class organisation even down to the burger tent on the Saturday that you can smell from 10 in the

Visitors from local counsellors, MLA‟s and local community organisations who have all come along to see the young people play and to voice their support for the project. The league will end with a football final and fun day with the presentations of awards and participant medals. The tournament has also drawn interest with further development through drug awareness with various programmes being planned over the next few months including training for parents and youth.


Mental Health Disorders and Stigmatisation

Give Drugs the Red Card Sports Day

Identification, Classification and categorisation of drugs and how they affect the body.

took place in the Victoria Park on the 30th August 2011, the event was organised by the Community Action Support Team (CAST), Forum For Action on Substance Abuse (FASA), East Belfast Community Development Agency (EBCDA), and Community Drug Awareness (CODA). The main aim of this event was to get information across on what services are available around drugs and alcohol to the wider community. This needed to be done in a fun way so; we teamed up with the Give Drugs the Red Card initiative and made the days focus around the different sporting activities that are available as an alternative focus from substance misuse. Belfast Community Sports Development Network as well as other local community organisations supplied coaches and equipment to cover activities including; football, rugby, athletics, boxing, karate, and a range of other multi sports. Other sporting activities included rock climbing, cycling and walking. CAST invited a number of organisations to man an information tent these included; PSNI, EBCDA, FASA, DAISY, CODA, Brook, Volunteer Now, Barnardo‟s and many more. We couldn‟t leave out the young ones so we had planned some fun physical activities such as the Teddy Bear Treasure Hunt and Picnic, this encouraged kids and their parents to walk and run a mile course through the trees searching for hidden teddy bears before settling down to have their picnic. Other kids activities included the bungee run, kids climbing wall, bouncy castles, creepy crawly search walk and beer goggle football.

Specifically focusing on Alcohol, Cannabis, Benzodiazepines, Mephedrone and Spice. Fergal McCann, Community Support Worker for the Community Action Support Team for Drugs and Alcohol(CAST) said, “We have had information stalls at the Fresher‟s Fairs at each of the campuses in the past but this is the first time ASCERT provided a course within one of the Regional Colleges. This marks what we hope will be a deeper level of partnership with the college.” The course is open to anyone over the age of eighteen and hopes to attract adults from throughout the community. It is an opportunity for parents to gain a depth of knowledge about the growing concerns of drugs, alcohol and mental health problems facing not only their children but many within the community. Anyone seeking more information or to apply to attend the course should contact ASCERT at 028980 604422 or e-mail .

Drug Proofing Your Kids Two local community members from North Down have recently been appointed regional representatives for Care for the Family on parenting Issues. Jackie and Heather Davison are two of over 400 people in the UK trained by Care for the Family in Drug Proofing Your Kids, a community based programme developed in conjunction with Care for the Family and Hope UK. It gives parents the information they need to encourage their children to have a responsible attitude towards drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol. The course encourages parents to discover the facts about drug use in their community, learn some strategies for communicating with their children. The course is run in six sessions covering:

Drug & Mental Health training in Downpatrick Campus

Drugs: How bad is the problem, really? Why kids take drugs How to educate kids to make good choices Prevention tools for parents Learning to intervene – and where to get help! Handling a return to drug use (relapses)

As part of an initiative to provide information on Drugs and Mental Health, Action on Substances Through Community Education and Related Training (ASCERT) and the South Eastern Regional College (SERC) came together to provide a FREE Basic Drugs and Mental Health Awareness course held on the 3rd October 2011.

As Heather explains, “most parents are worried about this and are wondering where to turn, the good news is that you don‟t have to become an expert on drugs to be aware of how your children might be at risk. We tell parents some of the facts about drug use, but more importantly, we tell them how to engage with their children, discuss drugs with them and give them the means to make sensible and informed choices.”

This 1 day training course will focused on mental health and how drugs & alcohol can have an adverse effect on the individual. Topics to be covered included;

To learn more please contact Jackie Davison on 07718933351

Definition of Mental Health and Drugs


Substance In Focus

“It is vital that we get the message across that taking unlicensed medicines from an unknown source can be dangerous,” he said. “these types of drugs being sold , usually online, have undergone no quality control and there can be no guarantee about their safety. Misuse of prescription drugs can lead to abuse, addiction and other serious problems.”

In this edition we will take a look at Oxycodone (also known as Oxycotton)

Effects? What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone depresses the central nervous system which can lead to users feeling euphoric, can lessen physical pain, slows down breathing, creating a feeling of being relaxed and leading to a feeling of emotional and mental wellness.

Oxycodone is a synthetic narcotic pain reliever similar to morphine. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain that is expected to last for an extended period of time. Oxycodone is often referred to as “hill-billy heroin” or “poor man‟s heroin” because of its abuse in rural areas of America since the brand was first sold there during the 1990‟s.

Can I Get Hooked? Experts say that because the drug is more potent and more addictive than heroin, the potential for misuse is almost limitless.

Tablets became available via prescription to cancer patients in the UK and Northern Ireland in 2010, and have been sold on the black market as “oxys”.

The Law?

They are sold for considerably less than street heroin (roughly between £5 and £20) and are considered to be just as addictive.

With a prescription from a Doctor, Oxycodone is legal to possess, however, when it is supplied or possessed without a prescription, it is classified as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

What Does It Look Like? Oxys are small white tablets, which are usually taken orally, they are slow releasing, designed to prevent those with illnesses feeling pain for up to 12 hours, which had the effect of limiting the amount of pills those with severe and chronic pain had to take.

The Risks? As a strong narcotic pain killer, Oxycodone should not be used with alcohol, as it could lead to respiratory failure, coma or death. An overdose of Oxycodone can be fatal.

However, users have discovered that they can achieve a more immediate hit through different routes of administration such as injecting and snorting the substance.

Oxycodone also has a number of side effects attributed to it, which users should be aware of. These include:

The Scale of the Problem?

shallow breathing, slow heartbeat; seizure (convulsions);

In some small towns in Kentucky and Virginia, up to 40 per cent of the adult population is hooked on Oxys, and up to 80 per cent of crimes are related to the drug.

cold, clammy skin; confusion;

The drug has been linked to at least 300 deaths involving non-medical use in the past two years.

severe weakness or dizziness; or feeling like you might pass out.

Oxys are relatively new in the UK and Northern Ireland, with police recently seizing £75,000 worth of the drug in South Belfast and Comber.

Less serious Oxycodone side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

Peter Moore of the Department of Health Medicines Regulatory Group said illegal and dangerous prescription only medicines had been prevented from reaching the streets.

nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite; dizziness, headache, tired feeling;


Training Calendar

Additionally the programme provides training for staff working in addiction services on homelessness issues.

Here are details of drug and alcohol related training taking place in the Eastern Area for the next three months.

Subject to funding being approved, CHNI will also be offering training on Naloxone Administration. Naloxone is a drug which can be given to people to temporary reverse an opiate overdose prior to the arrival of emergency services. The proposed dates are:; 01/11/11; 17/11/11; 01/12/11; 15/12/11.

Work Force Development.

For further details and booking forms please contact Kathy at or 90246440

The following courses are aimed at people working across all sectors who may encounter drug and/or alcohol misusing clients within their role. All courses are free to those who work or live in the Belfast or South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust. These training courses are delivered by ASCERT. For more information or to request an application form for any other these courses please email or phone (028)926 04422 Course



Group Work Facilitation Skills

8-15-2225/11/11 06/12/11 24-25/11/11






Working with Clients With Drug, Alcohol and Mental Health Issues Basic Drug and Alcohol Awareness for Practitioners Brief Intervention

Community Drug Awareness Training These training programmes are aimed at building capacity in the Voluntary and Community sector and the general public around substance misuse related issues. All courses are free to those who work or live in the Belfast or South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust. These training courses are delivered by the ASCERT, FASA and the Falls Community Council as part of the Eastern Board Drug and Alcohol Consortium.




Safer Injecting and Needle Exchange Ketamine

25-2627/10/11 22/11/11

Andras House Andras House

Nutrition For Substance Users


Andras House




Basic Drug Awareness and Mental Health Basic Drug Awareness Legal Highs


Trinity Initiatives

9:30 – 3:30


Link Centre Newtownards Link Centre Newtownards TBC

9:30 – 3:30 9:30 – 3:30 10 x ½ days


OCN Level 2 TBC Drugs Awareness Targeted Youth Education Service

Council for the Homeless NI (CHNI) Substance Use Training Programme Course


The Targeted Education Service for Young People offers a wide selection of free course options. All courses will be planned through discussion with group organisers and the young people themselves. If you would like to discuss options for delivery of targeted education courses to young people, contact Targeted Education Co-ordinator, Alison Armstrong on or call 028 9260 4422. All of the training promoted in this section is provided by the Public Health Agency

This workforce development programme is specifically for people working or volunteering in homelessness services in the eastern area of NI. Homelessness services staff are known to have specialist training needs in order for them to improve outcomes for homeless people who use substances.

CAST can also offer one off brief awareness courses if necessary. If you would like to learn more about this, or to arrange a talk, please contact the CAST worker for your area.


Service Profile In each edition of the Fix we will provide information on local services or projects that provide support in relation to alcohol or drugs. This editions service profile is of The Simon Community. enquire about prevention talks available to schools, church groups, community groups etc, please do not hesitate in contacting your local team: South/South East Area, Faith – 07425620801 or Stuart, – 07423432318 Belfast Area, Lisa - 07515068204 or Declan – 07425620863 North/North West Area, Diane – 07872840328 or Darren – 07425620802

The Simon Community NI are a Voluntary Organisation based in Northern Ireland who provide emergency accommodation advice and community support for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, they are fully committed to their vision of “ending homelessness” Simon Community has introduced a province wide Youth and Community Homelessness Prevention Programme. They aim to prevent homelessness by facilitating a coordinated approach to maximize the use of community based resources.

The Simon Community NI is also now providing a Harm Reduction Service providing a comprehensive, quality service across all Simon Community NI projects as well as the wider community. The service focuses on providing a low threshold service to substance users living in the projects as well as those at risk of becoming homeless due their substance use in the wider community. A low threshold service is one which aims to reach more substance users with problematic use patterns earlier and to remain in contact with a highly problematic group in order to prevent health damage while not requiring abstinence. The team will consist of eight workers spread across the region; 2 covering the Simon Community hostels in the Belfast area, 2 covering the Simon Community hostels in Derry, Coleraine, Ballymena and Larne, 2 covering the Simon Community hostels in Bangor, Saintfield Rd, Lisburn, Downpatrick and Newry. 2 covering the Bangor and Ards region (funded separately by EDACT)

They hope to do this by; Ddeveloping local community task groups. Developing a volunteer programme within Simon Community NI

All referrals will come internally from Simon Community NI staff initially while we gauge the level of need and capacity to respond.

Ddeveloping Simon Community NI engagement with existing local forum/networks etc Developing local community Homelessness Prevention resources Raising awareness talks can be delivered to any agency / school / community group to inform them of local homelessness issues and the services which Simon Community NI offer. (These can be adapted for various subjects such as Citizenship, Learning for Life and Work, Health and Social Care etc) If you would like more information on this programme or wish to


We hope to be able to offer this service to external agencies in the future. The referral process in Bangor and Ards will differ as we will be accepting referrals from external agencies from the outset. st

The service will be fully operational from the 1 of October. For more information on the Harm Reduction Service please contact Eoin Ryan, Harm Reduction Service Manager on (028)90232882 or e-mail

Community Support Workers in Your Area NORTH DOWN Vivian Thomson 19 Market Street Bangor BT20 4SP Tel: (028) 9127 1322 Email: LISBURN & ARDS Aislinn Quinn 23 Bridge Street Lisburn, BT28 1XZ Tel: (028 9260 4422 Fax: (028) 9260 3874 Email: DOWN DISTRICT 23 Bridge Street Lisburn, BT28 1XZ Tel: (028) 9260 4422 Fax: (028) 9260 3874 Email: SOUTH & EAST BELFAST James Scott 178 - 180 Shankill Road Belfast.BT13 2BH Tel: (028) 9080 3040 Fax: (028) 9032 3131 Email: NORTH & WEST BELFAST Diane McMullin 178 - 180 Shankill Road Belfast BT13 2BH Tel: (028) 9080 3040 Fax: (028 9032 3131 Email:


The Fix - October 2011  

a drug and alcohol newsletter

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you