Devon: Takes Drugs Seriously

May 3rd, 2018 by

Drugs can be dangerous. But does banning them cause more harm than good? Come along to learn about the impact of drugs on Devon and how we can better protect our community.

Join the discussion about what a new approach to drugs could mean for Devon, your family and your community.

Date and Time

Thu, May 17, 2018,  7:30 PM – 9:00 PM BST


Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter, EX1 1BW

Speakers include:

Esther Campbell – Esther’s brother Luke died from an accidental ecstasy overdose. She is currently studying at the University of Bristol and is a member of the Anyone’s Child campaign. Esther wants the legal regulation of drug production and distribution to reduce the harm they pose.

Suzanne Sharkey – Vice chair for LEAP UK (Law Enforcement Action Partnership). Suzanne worked as a police officer for five years working in a specialised crime unit and undercover drugs buying operations. She is in long term recovery from problematic substance use.

Danny Kushlick – Founder of Transform Drug Policy Foundation in 1996, after working widely in the drugs field. He is now an internationally recognised commentator on drug and drug policy issues.

Chris Evans – Lost her son Jake to an accidental overdose. She now regularly gives talks on the subject and campaigns with Anyone’s Child for the legal control and regulation of drugs.

Followed by a Question and Answer discussion.

This is a free charity event, but donations will be gratefully received.

Sign up here



Drug and alcohol services for adults and young people

April 10th, 2018 by

Addaction to continue to deliver Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly community drug and alcohol services for adults and young people

Addaction is to continue delivery of alcohol and drug services across Cornwall for the next five years.

The national charity has been delivering the services in the county for the past five years to both adults and young people, and has been successful in retaining the contract with Cornwall Council.

The budget for alcohol and drug treatment reduces by £120,000 in 18/19 and to a total of £451,000 by March 2020, so we are pleased that we had a high quality successful bid to deliver these services to Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly.

Addaction has bases in Redruth, Penzance, St Austell, Liskeard, Bodmin and Truro – where the YZUP service is also based.

The charity provides free, confidential and non-judgmental support to anyone affected by their own or someone else’s alcohol or drug use.

Associate director James Sainsbury said: “We’re delighted to continue our work in Cornwall and I want to congratulate the whole team on our excellent work.”

During the past five years, Addaction Cornwall and Isles of Scilly has supported 6,047 different adults and is currently treating 1,899 adults in the county.

Addaction has also been successful in securing funding of £780,000 from the Government’s Life Chances Fund to set up a project in Cornwall to cut the number of people frequently attending the hospital A&E departments due to alcohol or drugs.

Known as ‘frequent attenders’, there is a group of people who take up a disproportionate amount of time, resources and finances for hospital A&E departments because of their regular attendance due to alcohol or drug use.

Addaction will be using a combination of assertive outreach, high intensity work and partnership work to get this group to address their use and attend less.

“Around 35% of A&E admissions are down to alcohol and by tackling the frequent attenders we can help the hospital free up their resources to help others. The work will involve linking in with people from housing, the police, the council and other professionals to make sure we’re addressing all their needs and issues at once,” said James Sainsbury.

The project will be launched thanks to the Life Chances grant which is used to set up a social impact bond that will continue to fund the project outcomes. To date Addaction has been awarded the largest contribution for it from Life Chances.

Addaction is the first substance misuse charity in the UK to run a social impact bond and the Cornwall project will be watched with interest by officials and researchers to see if it will work elsewhere in the country.

A pilot project has been running in Treliske A&E and it will officially launch with an extended service from April 1st.

James Sainsbury said: “No service in the UK has been able to fully address the issue of frequent attenders before. We’re hopeful this innovative approach will significantly improve the lives of this group of people and give a new way forward for other services across the country.”

Minister for sport and civil society, Tracey Crouch, said: ‘This funding will benefit some of the most vulnerable people in society and provide vital support to help them transform their lives.

‘The UK is a world leader in using social impact bonds to make a positive impact in society and these projects will achieve real results in communities across the country.’

The Government Outcomes Laboratory (GoLab) based at Oxford University will be monitoring the effectiveness of this project as a funding model for care services.

To find out more about Addaction visit where you can also access a free, confidential web chat facility.


The Time Credits

April 10th, 2018 by

The Time Credits model is very simple: for every hour that an individual gives to their community or service, they earn one ‘Time Credit’. People can spend Time Credits to access events, training and leisure activities provided by public, community and private organisations, or to thank others in turn. To date, over 35,000 people have earned almost half a million Time Credits across England and Wales. The Time Credits currency is a powerful tool for encouraging more active engagement in local services and community groups, and building an individual’s social or support network.

Embedding Time Credits in substance use and recovery services has been a successful development in both England and Wales.  The Time Credits are used as the catalyst for an asset based approach to support planning and service design, and enable the development of co-produced services where clients take an active rather than passive role.

How do Time Credits work?


There are a huge variety of skills, experience and resources in communities that can be forgotten or go unrecognised, and Time Credits believe taking these as a starting point for any service or activity can be the most effective way of tackling community challenges. Time Credits start by mapping local assets with local people and identifying what exists in communities that can be built on, developed or brought together in new ways. Time Credits build on people’s interests, skills and experiences, combined with local physical assets and resources, to develop and improve community and public services.

There are currently over 600 spend opportunities nationwide. These spend partnerships facilitate access to opportunities that are often inaccessible to vulnerable adults with complex conditions and often low incomes. This access stimulates habitual change and helps develop personal assets further. Many positive impacts from spending Time Credits come from engaging in health or wellbeing activity, or adult education opportunities. However another key impact, particularly where we work with more vulnerable and isolated individuals, is a reduction in anxiety and increased confidence and awareness of the community assets available to them.


Time Credits in Cornwall


Time Credits Cornwall is a joint project between CC Transformation Challenge Award that is now operational within the DAAT and community partner agencies. The project is managed by Beth Ward who has a base at both DAAT in Threemilestones and Job Centre Plus in Penzance, enabling her to split her time between the two areas. The partnership managers, Helen Smith and Kelly Taylor share the role of building the spend network, identifying potential partnerships from feedback received through workshops and discussions with our local groups and members.

A key aspect of the Time Credit programmes is creating a local Time Credits identity. Co-design sessions involving DAAT, local services and service users helped create a bespoke note, reflecting the local identity of Cornwall. The back of every note is the same so that individuals are able to spend their Time Credits across the national network of partners. This aspect of Time Credits enables participants to use Time Credits outside their own area, for trips or family outings, and feel part of a wider national cohort of Time Credits members.

Time Credits are excited to already be working with Addaction, YMCA Cornwall, Bosence Farm, Who Dares Works, Trengweath, Job Centre Plus and Homegroup and will be looking to develop further relationships and spend/earn opportunities with local groups and services as the project develops. A launch event for Time Credits at Homegroup is being held on April 20th at YMCA Cornwall. We plan to host a range of earn and spend opportunities, including an asset mapping session with volunteers and residents followed by circuit training sessions organised by local social enterprise, The Ark CIC.

Time Credits are initially focusing on Drug and Alcohol and Homelessness Services in Penzance but will be moving into other substance use services in Cornwall, and eventually into other thematic settings supporting vulnerable adults.

In addition to the implementation of Time Credits, Time Credits have a range of training and supporting resources that have been tried and tested in community and health and care settings, to enable organisations to develop and embed asset based ways of working. They will be facilitating training sessions starting in the next quarter, for staff, volunteers and community members in voluntary organisations, statutory services and community groups in Cornwall and you are invited to attend. Further details will be circulated by DAAT once dates have been confirmed.

If you wish to find out more, please feel free to get in touch:

Beth Ward | 07578181277 |


The Government has brought the control of the new psychoactive substance methiopropamine as a class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 from 27 November 2017

December 15th, 2017 by

The 1971 Act controls drugs that are ‘dangerous or otherwise harmful’. A three tier system of classification (Class A, B and C) is adopted to provide a framework within which criminal penalties are set. This is based on an assessment of the harms associated with a drug, or its potential harms when misused, and the type of illegal activity undertaken in regards to that drug. The control of MPA has been made following the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (‘ACMD’).

The National Programme of Substance Abuse Deaths reported 46 cases where MPA was found in post mortem toxicology, between 2012 and April 2017. In all of these occurrences, MPA was found in combination with other substances, mainly NPS. MPA was implicated in the cause of death for 33 cases.

The ACMD recommended that MPA be listed as a Class B drug under the 1971 Act. This drug has also been inserted into Schedule 1 to the 2001 Regulations and designated as a drug to which section 7(4) of the 1971 Act applies since the ACMD reported no known recognised medicinal or legitimate uses beyond potential research use which will be enabled under a Home Office licence.

What is Methiopropamine and what are the risks associated with its use? See Drug Factsheet.

Circular – Changes to the MDA to include MPA – FINAL – DAU



Addaction HOT team has arrived…

October 30th, 2017 by

Addaction HOT team has arrived…

RCHT now has Addaction outreach workers within its safeguarding team, supporting patients with alcohol and drug addiction.  The Addaction Hospital Outreach Team (HOT) consists of two workers: Joanne Sutcliffe and Lee Derrick. Jo and Lee are managed by Addaction Operational manager Lynda Edward.

The Addaction HOT team is working in partnership with the Alcohol Liaison Team, the Psychiatric Liaison Team, Adult Safeguarding and Shelter to focus on individuals who are attending for multiple admissions at RCH in an attempt to identify and address the reasons behind their serial admissions.

Amongst those individuals with multiple presentations is a cohort of people with severe and enduring alcohol and drug problems. The HOT Team aims to identify, with the help of ALT and Safeguarding within the hospital, those individuals and to provide intensive multi-agency care packages to prevent further harm to the individual and minimise, where possible, attendance at the hospital.

The HOT Team also works to bridge the gap between home, community and the hospital to ensure individuals with complex needs are adequately supported. The team’s work has included work with the Palliative Care Service, liaison with Safeguarding and Mental Health Service, liaison with the Specialist Midwifery Team and the Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy (IDVA) service.

The HOT team would like to thank the RCHT wards for the support that they have shown both of them in their new role.  You can read more on Jo and Lee in the full article on the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Website HERE

Joanne Sutcliffe  – Tel: 07973789348 email:

Lee Derrick – Tel: 07580833895 email: or


Countess of Wessex visit

October 9th, 2017 by

Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex accompanied by Edward Bolitho, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall and President of substance misuse treatment charity Bosence Farm formally opened the new 8-bed Young People and Families unit on Monday 18th September, before touring the existing services at the Bosence Farm Community.

The new facility is the only one of its kind in the country, with a ground-breaking programme enabling young people to make positive change and realise their dreams and potential.

The Countess unveiled a plaque which mirrored exactly the one unveiled by her husband, the Earl of Wessex when he opened the then new detox and stabilisation centre for adults at Bosence Farm in 2010.  This has significantly contributed to improving treatment services for adults since.

Bosence Farm Community in West Cornwall has successfully operated residential services for individuals with substance misuse issues for 26 years.

Bosence Farm Detoxification (Boswyns) is a 16-bed Detox, Stabilisation and Assessment unit for adults in need of a medically led detoxification or stabilisation from illicit drugs, alcohol or prescribed medications.

Bosence Farm Residential Rehabilitation is a 14-bed longer stay service for adults who wish to address their drug and alcohol misuse utilising a 12 step facilitation model.

The new addition, Bosence Farm Young People provides residential accommodation and a bespoke treatment programme for young people experiencing issues with substance misuse and related needs such as mental health, behavioural issues and family breakdown.  The Bosence Farm Young People’s Residential Programme is designed for young people who are experiencing substance misuse problems but whose complexity requires a more intensive treatment approach that cannot be met in their communities.

Whilst we are doing all that we can to prevent young people drinking alcohol or taking drugs and these problems arising in the first place, we recognised that for some of our more vulnerable young people, who have experienced significant adversity in their lives, we were not always successful.  Most young people who experience alcohol and drug-related problems can be successfully helped in the community, however a small number have much greater challenges to overcome and more complex needs.

Cornwall has a higher than average number of young people being admitted to hospital for alcohol related problems. To be able to adequately help them, and stop this becoming an entrenched problem in adulthood, requires a period of respite or a more intensive approach in a residential setting. Previously young people have been sent as far afield as Sussex and the Midlands to access these services, which makes it almost impossible to manage successfully, and it is for this reason that the Council and the Community Safety Partnership supported the bid from Bosence Farm Community to Public Health England for the capital funding to build this unit in Cornwall.

Cornwall Councillor Sally Hawken Cabinet Member for Children & Wellbeing said: ‘It’s really welcome to have a service specifically for young people here in Cornwall, to receive the treatment they need.’

The opening was attended by Marion Barton from the Drug and Alcohol Action team and Paul Walker, Chair of the Community Safety Partnerships.


International Overdose Awareness Day

October 2nd, 2017 by

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31 each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

Taking its key themes as prevention and remembrance, its goals are:

  • To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn for loved ones, some for the first time, without feeling guilt or shame.
  • To include the greatest number of people in Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement.
  • To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non- fatal overdose.
  • To send a strong message to current and former drug users that they are valued.
  • To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.
  • To provide basic information on the range of support services that exists in the local community.
  • To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.
  • To remind all of the risks of overdose.

On 31 August 2017 the Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Action Team and Addaction (drug and alcohol treatment service) held an event on Lemon Quay, Truro to take these key themes to the public. The event ran from 9:00am to 4:30pm and consisted of staff from Addaction and DAAT engaging with as many people as possible. This included handing out information leaflets/posters, giving a range of advice and first aid training including ‘hands on’ resuscitation practice.

With 32 people dying in Cornwall in 2016 from a drug related death and many more dying from alcohol and prescription medicine abuse, this was an opportunity to talk about the many complexities surrounding drug and alcohol use.

A wide cross section of people engaged with the team including those who needed treatment, those seeking treatment for others, wider education issues and children wishing to learn first aid skills- the first aiders of the future!


The Acorn Service 2017

October 1st, 2017 by

Saturday 23 September 2017 saw the fourth consecutive service with this year being the third to be held at Truro Cathedral. The service seeks to celebrate the lives of those who have died from substance misuse and those who live with it.

Last year in Cornwall there were 32 drug related deaths and many more when alcohol and prescription drugs are considered. The stigma often attached to drug-related deaths can leave those mourning feeling different from other mourners, with the special Acorn service providing a way to bring people together.

The service is organised in partnership between Cornwall Council, Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), Boscence Farm Community Ltd, Addaction and Truro Cathedral.

The service included personal reflections, music and readings from service users and drug treatment workers, a tailored service of remembrance and a tree of remembrance where messages were written on paper shaped oak leaves. We now have 4 years worth of oak leaves that have been personalised. The cruel irony here is that at this time of year the oak loses its’ leaves- the tree in our service always gains leaves.

The tree of remembrance from 2015- it now bears many more leaves representing lives lost

This years’ service was well attended and the emotion of the occasion was very much in evidence with one mother saying ‘I haven’t been able to cry like this since my 20 year old daughter died earlier this year’.

This brave mother came to the service after hearing another mother speaking on Radio Cornwall the previous day when Laurence Reed held his live talk show. Laurence has been very supportive of this service over the last 4 years and Sid Willett from Cornwall DAAT was able to go into the studio with Kirsty to speak about the loss of her daughter Victoria aged just 21 when she died last year.

Victoria died aged just 21

Victoria is just one example of a life tragically cut short when she naively combined internet sourced drugs with GP prescribed medicines. Both of these mothers want to help others and raise awareness of the complexities of drug related deaths.

Gary Hales used heroin for six years and is now celebrating his 5th-year of not using Heroin. In that 5 years he’s completed a diploma and a degree as well as working with Addaction as a volunteer and now a full employee. Gary gave a reading during the service.

He said “I’ve made some bad decisions in my life however, I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can share my experiences. My curiosity and naivety to drugs is what started my addiction – two deadly behaviours when combined and there are drugs around.

“I lost six years of my life to a heroin addiction. I am the lucky one as others I’ve witnessed lost their lives. I spent years chasing the dragon when I could have been chasing my dreams and aspirations. Eventually, I became a lost soul and on many occasions wished I would never wake up however, chasing death, led me to life.

Sid Willett, Drug Related Death Prevention Co-ordinator, Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) said “I am proud to work in Cornwall with so many people that care about these issues and our communication between Police, drug treatment, pharmacy, HM Coroner and her staff, RCHT, SWAST and many others is second to none. The DAAT now being part of Community Safety within Cornwall Council allows us an even wider platform to prevent future deaths.

This is a different approach to what is usually expected, as we seek to remember and to raise awareness at the same time. Our work is all about partnership working often with marginalised groups. Although sadly too late for some, the Acorn service seeks to remember, reflect and use the legacy of those who have died to change processes or whatever needs to be done to prevent future deaths.”

Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: