East Sussex County Council is asking people to join a ‘conversation’ about drugs and alcohol which it hopes will help break the stigma surrounding the subject and support those in need.
The results of the online survey and feedback from service users will help to shape what kind of support to sustain recovery is delivered throughout the county in the future.
Cllr Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council lead member for communities and safety, said: “Anyone can develop a dependence on drugs or alcohol, and it’s not just the individual that’s affected but their loved-ones too.
“With the right support, people can break the cycle of dependency and turn their lives around, but it’s important we make every effort to ensure we provide the services people need most.
“By taking five minutes to take part in our survey, people can help us to get this issue out in the open and help shape how we support people with drug and alcohol disorders in the future.”
One of those to benefit from the support on offer is 54-year-old recovering alcoholic Kanna Ingleson, from St Leonards, who now helps other people overcome similar challenges in her role as an asset-based community development worker for East Sussex Recovery Alliance (ESRA).
She said: “I moved here three years ago after almost a lifetime in cities. For me it was all about connection – I wanted to know my neighbours and be part of the community of oddballs and one-offs that make their way to the Sussex coast.
“I spent my 40th birthday in rehab and have spent the last 15 years doing everything I can to stay on the wagon.
“Now I have the perfect job, my daily commute is a walk along the seafront, my wife and I have three of the best dogs in the world and I couldn’t be happier.”
The questionnaire includes questions about people’s attitudes to drug and alcohol issues, how individuals can be supported and the barriers they may face in getting help.
People can take part in the survey online at https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/adult-social-care/drugs-alcohol/