Treatment for addicts to continue

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adults with substance misuse problems will be able to get immediate and structured help from new organisations moving to Bury St Edmunds from April.

Previously, people have turned to drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity Focus12, based in Risbygate Street, Bury, and community drugs team SMS West, based in Looms Lane, Bury.

But Suffolk Drug Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) will not be renewing its contracts with the organisations, so when their current ones expire on March 31 their DAAT funding will stop. SMS West will continue to help people with alcohol problems and Focus12 will continue to offer its services, but it will charge.

DAAT’s new contracts, worth £16 million over five years, have gone to Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI) and Open Roads, neither currently has an office in Suffolk but DAAT is keen to find a large office in Bury to base them together.

Simon Aalders, Suffolk DAAT coordinator, said the plan was for the bulk of treatment intervention to be done from the CRI and Open Roads offices in Bury, with satellite offices to be set up in such places as GP practices in other areas of Suffolk.

Although the move will save DAAT around £1.5 million, Mr Aalders was adamant it was not about saving money.

He said: “It was about restructuring the drug treatment system to create a system where the different elements of treatment are much more closely linked to each other, so that one can move through the system getting their needs met in a much more effective way. It was a move on quality not cost – the emphasis is about successful outcomes.”