Home Community and neighbourhoods Council Drugs Strategy makes positive change for residents.
A man and 2 women at a meeting

Council Drugs Strategy makes positive change for residents.

by Guy Murphy

Knowsley’s Combating Drugs Partnership has released figures that demonstrate the positive impact it is having across drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services.

Led by Knowsley Council, the partnership supports both residents and prison leavers with addiction related illnesses and is working to deliver both local and national Drug Strategy programmes.

Tackling drug and alcohol use

Since March 2022 there has been an additional 249 Adults and 24 Young People in Knowsley benefiting from help to reduce their drug and alcohol use in a safe and manageable way.

Drug and alcohol services in Knowsley are provided by Change, Grow, Live’s Integrated Recovery Service, a health and social care charity that works with individuals, families, and communities to help residents to reduce their drug and alcohol use.

The service is also helping to reduce both alcohol and drug related hospital admissions. Between March 2022 and June 2023, alcohol related hospital admissions had fell from 2,246 per 100,000 to 1,154 per 100,000 while drug poisoning hospital admissions had fell from 93 per 100,000 to 83 per 100,000.

Supporting prison leavers into the community

Knowsley Change, Grow, Live works works with prisons and probation services, as well as Merseyside Police to divert residents from criminality into treatment and recovery. Between May and July 2023, 100% of prison leavers who were being supported with drug or alcohol services in prison entered into community treatment.

Eliminating Hepatitis C

Other notable successes include the micro-elimination of Hepatitis C amongst service users. Since March 2022, the Council and its partners have ensured:

  • 100% of service users have been offered a test.
  • 1% of people with a history of injecting have been tested.
  • 90% of people with current risk factors have been tested.
  • 1% of people who have tested positive for Hepatitis C have been successfully supported into treatment.

Through the treatment programme, the Council has been able to achieve 100% micro-elimination of Hepatitis C as of November 2023.

Cllr Del Arnall, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “The Council’s drug strategy plays a vital role in ensuring Knowsley is a safe place for our residents, where they can lead healthy and happy lives.

“I am delighted to see that through our work with partners and service providers, we have been able to achieve these positive results.”

Cllr Christine Bannon, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “The Integrated Recovery Service is having a positive impact on health outcomes for some of our most vulnerable residents.

“The 100% micro-elimination of Hepatitis C and reduction in hospital admissions are both real successes and I urge individuals and our wider community to encourage and support those with addiction related illnesses to access the brilliant support that is available in our borough for the best possible chance of a full recovery”

Superintendent for Knowsley, Karl Baldwin, said: “Preventing crime is at the core of policing, and the significance of the link between addiction and crime cannot be overstated. If we want rates of crime to get better, then we need people to get better. That’s why the work of treatment providers is key to policing and wider community safety.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that someone whose life has been taken over by substance abuse is going to be more likely to make poor decisions – decisions that damage them, their loved ones, and, sadly, sometimes innocent members of our community. That’s why the multi-agency Combatting Drugs Partnership, and CGL as the commissioned treatment provider, is in all our interests to support.

“These are really encouraging results.  It doesn’t just give hope to those working with CGL and their loved ones, but to all of us working together for a safer Knowsley.”

Need support?

CGL is an integrated service providing recovery services, treatment and interventions for all individuals who have substance use dependency or addiction related illness.

If you or a family member or friend want to reduce the use of drugs and alcohol in a safe and manageable way there is a range of free, no-judgement services and advice including: –

  • Health screening including vaccination for BBV (blood borne viruses)
  • Harm reduction and gradual reduction advice
  • Access to Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Nurses
  • Foundations for Recovery in the community (therapeutic groups)
  • Opiate replacement prescribing
  • Young persons’ services with access to Mental Health support.
  • Recovery in the community
  • Peer mentoring & volunteering opportunities
  • Specialist employment and training support
  • Community detoxes
  • Inpatient detox and residential rehabilitation
  • Abstinent groups

You can call the team on 0151 546 9557 or email knowsley@cgl.org.uk or visit their website at https://www.changegrowlive.org/