subject of drugs means many things to Burngreave residents. We often
lie to ourselves about the bad effects of the drugs we happen to
like taking, whether it be tobacco, alcohol, khat or heroin.
Many in the community see little harm
in cannabis and welcome David Blunkett’s comments in Burngreave
that cannabis would soon be decriminalised. Others, including professionals,
take recreational drugs, but are perhaps reluctant to admit that
their ecstacy pill or line of coke may have been biked across Pitsmoor
at some point by young people, including some who should be in school.
For some, drugs mean
the misery of knowing friends and family caught up with harmful
drug or alcohol abuse or living with the effects of illegal street
dealing, including violent crime. For others, who feel excluded
from mainstream jobs, and without sight of a serious job strategy
for Burngreave, illegal drug dealing is a seen as a necessary source
what’s the Plan?
Burngreave residents have been
calling for more drug awareness, prevention and rehabilitation services
since the New Deal road shows in 2000 and before. The May Health
Group discussed planned New Deal Drugs Projects:
Turning Point are sponsoring this three-year project to deliver
a package of therapies currently available through Rockingham Drug
Project. As well as providing these treatments locally, the project
will train local therapists and professionals.
Women on the Edge
Formed in 1995 by community volunteers in response to the growing
use of crack, this project will fund support, self-help groups,
a helpline, advice, outreach and referral for black and minority
ethnic female partners and children of drug users.
Both these projects have been approved
by the Health Theme Group, and are now being developed in detail.
It was readily acknowledged that a wider strategy is needed, with
calls for more help through GPs and services for khat users.
Magda Boo, Health Theme Manager, explained
the New Deal are working with the Black Drugs Service, the Sheffield
Drug Action Team and the Primary Care Trust to develop a strategy
for the area. Magda hopes the plans will be widely available in
the autumn. “It’s important we have agreement and support
for the New Deal Drugs Projects if we’re going to effectively
tackle this important issue”.
The Black Drug Service have further Home Office funding for their
successful ‘Drug Aware’ courses, aimed at black and
minority ethnic communities. These free courses offer advice about
how to approach drug use issues in the family or community. The
three sessions, information pack and audiotapes in English, Arabic,
Somali and Urdu have been found to be useful and accurate. To find
out more, contact Lee Wisdom at the Black Drug Service on 249 3700.