Salvation Army unveil new drugs strategy

The Salvation Army will reveal their new plans to help those using drugs. Picture (posed by model): Neil Hanna

The Salvation Army will reveal their new plans to help those using drugs. Picture (posed by model): Neil Hanna

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A new, five-year strategic plan to tackle drug and alcohol misuse will be unveiled by the Salvation Army today.

The announcement, to be made in Stirling, will detail the charity’s expansion of social work to help people achieve long term recovery in Scottish communities.

Phase one of the programme will see experienced drug and alcohol workers placed in three “key” towns identified by the charity - Greenock, Stirling and Falkirk.

This long term recovery support will take the form of the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA), a holistic method which uses the community to encourage a change in a person’s drinking habits or drug use.

The CRA was introduced by Professor Robert Meyers, who has delivered training to the Salvation Army’s specialist drug and alcohol project staff.

The programme, which has already proved successful with the Salvation Army in New Zealand, involves the use of a personal treatment plan, behavioural skills, employment skills, partnership working, as well as social, recreational and relationship counselling.

Recovery

Lt Col Ian Barr, from The Salvation Army, UK with the Republic of Ireland, said: “We are concerned about the social and health effects alcohol is having on families and on the fabric of society in Scotland.

“Today’s announcement confirms our commitment to social services in Scotland and to the people we serve, we are experts in the provision of evidence-based social programmes and we have drawn together a team with a proven track record in recovery, which will make an impact on the lives of many.”

Phase two will see the development of more hubs across Scotland, with one location in the north of Scotland already identified.

An additional third phase will establish a centre of excellence where CRA training can take place, with a site for research and development on the cause and effect of drug and alcohol abuse.

A postgraduate researcher will also work with the charity to assess the needs of people who require this support. It is a position that will be match-funded by the University of Stirling.

The Salvation Army, which has committed £250,000 towards the first phase of the programme, is making the announcement on its anniversary, also known as Founders Day.

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