Expansion of Young Persons Substance Misuse Service

FROM THE beginning of April the Substance Misuse Service in East Sussex will be available to young people up to the age of 25.

Following successful treatment activity and positive outcomes last year, extra funding has been secured to enable the service to provide advice and treatment to more young people and their families.

During 2021 funding from Project ADDER, a Government initiative to reduce the harm caused by the supply and use of drugs, financed new staff and enabled the number of young people accessing treatment through the service to increase significantly. In addition, 92 per cent of young people successfully completed their treatment in East Sussex compared to the national figure of 81 per cent.

As a result of these successes, the East Sussex Under 25 Substance Misuse Service, formerly the Under 19 Service, has received additional funding for new staff, including health practitioners, who will deliver additional drug and alcohol services across the county.

As well as offering specialist treatment services to young people who are using alcohol, drugs, ‘legal highs’ and research chemicals, the service also provides advice and support to parents and carers.

Cllr Bob Bowdler, lead member for children and families, said: “Our Substance Misuse Service has been hugely successful in helping young people under 19 address their substance abuse, and I am delighted we are now able to expand the service to those aged 25 and under.

“Substance misuse is devastating for those addicted as well as their families and friends, and I hope the expanded service will enable us to reach more vulnerable young people across East Sussex and help them access treatment and support.”

Service users are matched with a substance misuse outreach worker who delivers a broad range of trauma informed psychosocial interventions including motivational interviewing, solution focussed brief therapy and CBT interventions.

Holistic interventions are also available to assist young people in addressing their substance misuse and associated issues such as mental health concerns, staying in education, finding training and employment and accessing positive activities.

The Under 25 Substance Misuse Service will be available from Monday, April 4.

The service can be contacted by calling 01323 464404 or by emailing Under25sSMS.Duty@eastsussex.gov.uk. A duty worker is available Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, and Friday 9am to 4.30pm. Staff are also available for appointments outside of these hours to suit employment or carer circumstances.