logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 32 - June 2003.

Drugs in Burngreave
Compiled by
Mark Lankshear and
Ian Clifford

page 1 of 5

The 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 of income.

So 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:

Complementary Therapies
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”.

Drug Aware
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.