A new centre designed to help change lives blighted by alcohol is to open in Middlesbrough.
Specialist treatment and aftercare for individuals suffering from alcohol dependency will be launched as a standalone service.
The Middlesbrough Alcohol Centre of Excellence will be based on Ayresome Green Lane and become a flagship health and wellbeing facility for the town.
The number of people drinking to potentially harmful levels is widely expected to continue to rise during the pandemic.
In addition, over the past five to 10 years, fewer people have been engaging in support for alcohol-related issues.
Public Health England research found service changes that led to alcohol treatment being provided alongside care for other substance misuse reduced the numbers coming forward.
The study into effects of ‘all-in-one’ provision uncovered perceptions that such services focused predominantly on the needs of drug users.
In that context and in response to local need, Middlesbrough Council’s public health team has secured £245,000 from Public Health England to fund the new service.
Specialists in alcohol clinical treatment and recovery support will be based at the centre.
Partner agencies and professionals who offer support for domestic abuse and homelessness will also have a presence.
The centre will work with individuals as they focus on achieving and sustaining positive changes to their lives. Referrals and treatment interventions will be offered where needed.
Deputy Mayor Antony High has welcomed the launch and believes it will be of particular help as the country enters another lockdown.
Cllr High said: “It’s so important that individuals with substance misuse issues get treatment that is tailored to their needs.
“We know that those who have serious alcohol problems can be put off attending services that also target those with other addictions.
“This standalone service allows us to focus on the people in Middlesbrough that need dedicated help with alcohol issues.”
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Addiction issues hold us back and this piece of work to help people free themselves to build and enjoy more positive lives is great news for Middlesbrough.”
Cllr Dorothy Davison, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “The new centre will provide specialist support for individuals and get them the best help based on their circumstances.
“It’s vital that people reach out for support, now more than ever.”
More details on the Middlesbrough Alcohol Centre of Excellence will be released shortly. If you or someone you know is affected by alcohol-related issues you can contact Middlesbrough Recovering Together on 01642 876323 or visit https://www.changegrowlive.org/middlesbrough-recovering-together.