Enjoy the re-opened pubs safely

July 8th, 2020 by

Safer Cornwall want to ensure that everyone that wants to, can enjoy the re-opened restaurants and pubs. After weeks of being stuck at home, we know that some people will want to get out and about and have a bevvy or 2 with friends. However, we have seen from other areas, that some aspects of people emerging, have not all been fun.

We support having fun and, for those who choose to, enjoying a tipple, however, it is not compulsory to get in a mess. We can all do this safely and responsibly.

Remember, not everyone drinks, and we want to support those who don’t also having a nice time.

For those of us who do use this legal drug, sometimes, we lose track of what and how much we have had to drink. This can result in a risk of harm to ourselves and to others. Please be mindful of who you are with, what you are drinking, how much you are drinking and make sure you can get home safely. Have a plan for how you are going to do that.

One thing that COVID-19 has demonstrated is that we are actually really good at looking out for each other and making decisions that are in the interest of everyone, not just ourselves. Let’s continue to do this if we enjoy a day or night out.

www.drinksmeter.com

 

 

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Cornwall Drug Alert Briefing 2nd July 2020

July 2nd, 2020 by

Pills and tablets being sold as prescribed drugs – RISK OF HARM, RISK TO LIFE

There have been multiple cases of overdose across Cornwall in the last fortnight where a range of tablets of differing colours, pretending to be prescribed drugs have been involved. These drugs have been illicitly produced and sold.

The drugs are being made to look like Benzodiazepines -Valium, Lorazepam, Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) and Alprazolam (Xanax), coming as coloured tablets, or as Pregabalin (so far). They often come in blister packs or labelled plastic pharmacy pots, which look like they are pharmaceutically prepared, but they are not.

Testing of seized tablets shows that some do not contain any of the drugs they proport to be at all, instead containing dangerous chemicals for non-medical use. With others, the content of each tablet differs very widely, despite the tablet markings indicating a set dose.

If you, or anyone near you, take any of these drugs and overdose, an ambulance and hospitalisation will be required ASAP.

Naloxone will not reverse an overdose of these drugs but may assist if they have been taken in combination with opioid drugs.

  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shallow breathing
  • Impaired motor function
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fainting
  • Coma

Benzodiazepine drugs in overdose can show a range of symptoms but may include;

  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shallow breathing
  • Impaired motor function
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fainting
  • Coma

Harm Reduction Advice

➢ Buying drugs from a unknown source is a risk

➢ Try small dosing/testing unknown substances/supplies

➢ Avoid using alone

➢ Report any unusual symptoms & seek medical assistance

➢ Call 999 if urgent medical assistance is required or you think an overdose is occurring

If you witness someone experiencing these symptoms or are experiencing them yourself in suspected overdose:

  1. Call 999 for an ambulance
  2. Give immediate first aid basic life support (recovery position and monitor the airway, breathing & pulse).
  3. Do not assume that a person who is still functioning normally will not worsen later.

Further help and support can be found from

Tel: 0333 200 0325

 For further advice or to discuss this briefing further you can get in touch with The Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Action Team at DAAT@cornwall.gov.uk

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Free drinksmeter app can help residents manage concerns around increased home drinking during lockdown stress

June 11th, 2020 by

For those concerned that they might be drinking more alcohol than usual or are finding it a struggle to keep the amount they drink under control during Covid lockdown, Safer Cornwall would urge residents to download the free drinksmeter app to their phones.

The easy to use app is available through the Safer Cornwall website or via the drinksmeter.com website. It is designed to help those who feel they may be at risk of damaging their health through excess drinking to manage and monitor their home drinking habits.

Drinksmeter has already been downloaded by hundreds of residents in Cornwall and is highlighted in Safer Cornwall’s ‘Lockdown Home Drinking’ campaign.

This has been launched following a national YouGov poll which revealed that 20 per cent of the 4,000 adults taking part reported they’d been drinking more alcohol than normal since the country went into Covid-19 lockdown. Added to this, there has also been a reported spike in the sale of wine, spirits and beer.

The drinksmeter app can be downloaded for free to a phone or accessed online via the drinksmeter.com website. It helps keep track of how much you are drinking in relation to the recommended amount, which is no more than 14 units a week. This equates to seven double shots of spirits, five average size glasses of wine or six pints of average strength beer/lager/cider.

It also lets you set your own goals and can even work out how much money you could save if you reduce the amount you’re drinking.  It also gives the details of local contacts if you need to speak to someone for advice or support.

Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health said: “It is often so difficult at times like these to cope and manage levels of stress and anxiety.  It is so easy to just pour another drink in the hope it will make us feel better. ‘Lockdown Home Drinking’ aims to alert us all to the many serious health issues that can result from drinking more alcohol than we might do normally.

“Too much is bad for the body in so many ways and can also put an added strain on our health services during this unprecedented crisis.

“The drinksmeter app certainly puts into perspective how alcohol you are drinking, and then helps you to personally manage it before it gets out of hand.

“This is why I would urge anyone who might be concerned that they are consuming more than usual during the pandemic, to make full use of this really helpful and potentially life-saving resource.”

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We Are With You provide lockdown support

June 3rd, 2020 by

Natalie Gyll-Murray manages the volunteer service at We Are With You and during lockdown they have had 12 volunteers offering phone support to service users that have been very isolated. Over 100 service users have been contacted, some with weekly contact, and this has been hugely helpful with great feedback from service users and staff.

Additionally Natalie created a lockdown survival guide with the help of the volunteers, who gave tips about what they have been doing to get through lockdown and their favourite places to go. If you would like some ideas have a look at it!

Download PDF File WAWY Lockdown Help Sheet

 

 

 

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Tempo Time Credits starts new phase with Together for Families.

May 15th, 2020 by

Tempo have been working with Cornwall Council since 2017 to develop Cornwall Time Credits. The next phase of work with see Tempo engage vulnerable families and young people supported by funding from the Together for Families (TfF).

The initial period of this contract will support the COVID response whilst also building relationships with agencies supporting the Together for Families Programme in St Austell, Newquay, Bodmin and Saltash.

COVID response includes:

  • A new internet platform, tempocommunities.com. This website supports communities by enabling people to help others as well as finding ways to stay connected during the challenges of COVID-19.  Link
  • Cornwall online network forum – bringing together groups and organisations from across Cornwall to share learning and challenges and discussing ways to support people during this difficult time.
  • Tempo are hosting national Forums to share learning across the national Time Credits network. You can find out more about the national forums and book a space here.
  • Tempo are offering a range of e-learning modules to support community groups, organisations and professionals across Cornwall, the modules include the following courses: Conflict Resolution, Data Protection, Emergency Planning, Facilitation Skills, Getting Started with Social Media, Healthy Lifestyles, Introduction to Health and Safety, Manual Handling, Meeting Skills, Mental Health Awareness, Personal Resilience, Personal Safety, Remote Working, Remote Working for Managers, Safeguarding Adults, Safeguarding Children. You can sign up to a course here.

If you would like to attend any of the Cornwall Network Forums and or have any questions or ideas about how the Time Credits team can support work with families and young people, during or after COVID, please contact Celia Davis celiadavis@wearetempo.org / 07578 181277 (Celia leads on Saltash and Bodmin) or Helen Smith helensmith@wearetempo.org / 07578147282 Kelly Taylor kellytaylor@wearetempo.org/07588142085  (Helen and Kelly job share and lead on St Austell and Newquay)

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Safer Cornwall reminds communities to support each other during pandemic

May 5th, 2020 by

Safer Cornwall is calling on residents to support each other during the pandemic and avoid confrontations over social distancing.

The partnership, made up of Cornwall CouncilDevon and Cornwall Police and other agencies, has received reports of verbal abuse, abuse on social media, and criminal damage to personal property as a result of people being mistaken for breaking social distancing rules.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team have warned that they will not tolerate behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress and will take action against those responsible.

Safer Cornwall strongly discourages anyone from approaching another person to confront them about social distancing, or if they have concerns that a business is open that should not be.

Instead, the partnership is reminding residents to treat one another with respect at this difficult time and to report their concerns to the correct agencies so they can carry out the appropriate investigations.

Anyone concerned about social gathering should contact the Police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.

If a business is suspected of flouting closure orders reports should be made to Cornwall Council on 0300 123 1118 or by emailing covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for environment and public protection, said: “It is with sadness that we have received reports of families being targeted online and face-to-face about not following social distancing guidelines, when the perception may be wrong.

“We have seen second homeowners and businesses put themselves forward to offer accommodation for key workers and local families, who need this vital accommodation, to maintain the work commitments that allow them to keep their families safe.

“Please do not assume that anyone in a motorhome, holiday home or driving is breaking the social distancing guidelines. Continue to be compassionate and understand that where applicable that Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police will undertake the enforcement needed.”

Simon Mould, Cornwall Council’s Head of Communities, said: “We continue to see amazing support across all of our communities where those most vulnerable are being supported by voluntary groups and individuals giving what they can to help those most in need. We ask that residents show compassion and understanding during this difficult time.”

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We have seen over the Easter holidays that communities are following the social gathering restrictions and only in limited cases have we had to respond and enforce against large groups gathering.

“We are however seeing an increase in neighbour nuisance and reports of non-compliance. If you are experiencing any form of hate crime or harassment please report this to us so that we can take action to support you.”

If you are being targeted and experiencing any form of alarm, harassment or distress please report this to the police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.


For more information on support during the pandemic see our Covid-19 and community safety page

 

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Finding drug packets in West Cornwall

April 21st, 2020 by

Following a number of findings of similar drugs packets, a high number of used and partially used packets of Clonazepam tablets have been found in a cemetary in West Cornwall. It is a known site for young people to congregate so YZUP have issued the below information around use of Clonazepam which will be included on their social media pages.

 

 

 

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Lockdown Home Drinking: 5. What to do if you struggle to cut down

April 16th, 2020 by

Higher Risk drinking is scored at 16 or above on the AUDIT checklist in the Drinksmeter app, but an even higher score of over 20 could indicate some degree of alcohol dependence. It’s possible to become dependent on alcohol without realising. This would make reducing drinking more difficult, and needs to be done very carefully.

Depending on the level of dependence, someone reducing their drinking may start to experience withdrawal symptoms. To keep the process as safe as possible, services that help people with this process recommend reducing slowly, starting with keeping a diary to record what you normally drink. This can be done with the help of the Drinksmeter app, but don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice too.

At this lockdown moment, when getting out to see and talk to someone about your drinking is impossible, the Drinksmeter is a perfect self-monitoring tool. For most people it’s all that’s needed, but if you find you need to talk to someone for advice, the right contact details are within the app, based on the region where you live.

In Cornwall, the alcohol support service is provided by ‘We Are With You’, who you may have heard of before as ‘Addaction Cornwall.’ Their contact details are found in the app, and their advice can also be found on their website.

They normally recommend getting professional support before trying to cut down your drinking, but these lockdown conditions aren’t normal. They advise cutting down slowly, over a few weeks, rather than just stopping suddenly. They recommend keeping a drinking diary for a week, to find out exactly how much you drink each day.

Again, the Drinksmeter will help you do this.

They also advise starting by reducing by 10% for a few days. At this stage, if you start to have any withdrawal symptoms, it means you’re cutting down too fast. Withdrawal symptoms could be sweating, headaches, confusion, sickness, blurred vision, lack of sleep, or imagining seeing or hearing things. At their most severe, withdrawal symptoms can lead to fits, which are dangerous. This is why a very gradual process is the safest approach.

Right now, we all need to do everything we can to avoid giving the Ambulance service and the NHS more work. So take it steady.

If you start to experience any withdrawal symptoms, even mild ones, slow down how much you are reducing what you drink. Keep drinking at your most recent safe level for another week, then start cutting down again. Consider cutting down by 5% instead of 10% each week.

They also give some other tips for this stage of the process

  • Ask a loved one for help. They could help you measure your drinks, record your intake or look after your alcohol for you.
  • Having someone going through this with you makes it both easier and more safe.
  • Gradually switch to a lower-strength drink. For example, replace a can of super-strength lager with a standard-strength can.
  • Add water or a mixer to your drinks.
  • Consider alternating, so that you drink one non-alcoholic drink for every alcoholic drink you have.
  • Try to eat healthily: avoid sugar, and try to eat plenty of brown rice and wholemeal bread. These are good for your vitamin B12 (thiamine) levels.
  • Take a vitamin B12 (thiamine) supplement. Ideally you should have 100mg of thiamine, three times a day. You can buy it from health stores online if you don’t already have it.
  • Keep hydrated with plenty of non-alcoholic drinks – but avoid coffee and energy drinks as these can cause sleep problems.

It may be best to keep reducing gradually all the way to zero, but at the point that you have reduced to a lower risk level and decide it’s safe to stop drinking altogether, make sure that someone knows you are about to do this, because you may still need support in an emergency.

Ask the people you live with to be ready to call an ambulance if you:

  • Have a fit or a seizure;
  • Become confused;
  • Develop double vision;
  • Become unsteady on your feet, or
  • Experience hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there).

These symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous.

In addition, don’t stop drinking entirely if you have previously experienced had any of those symptoms around drinking or stopping drinking. If any of this describes your experience, please feel free to call ‘We Are With You Cornwall’ (Addaction) on 0333 2000 325.

Again, at this lockdown moment, when getting out to see and talk to someone about your drinking is impossible, the Drinksmeter is a perfect self-monitoring tool. For most people it’s all that’s needed, but if you find you need to talk to someone for advice, the right contact details are within the app, based on the region where you live.

If you have any comments, questions, problems or feedback, please email us at daat@cornwall.gov.uk

 

 

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Lockdown Home Drinking: 4. How to cut back

April 16th, 2020 by

In the checklist within the Drinksmeter, the AUDIT tool, a score of 8 to 15 is defined as Increasing Risk.

This would cover anyone drinking above the 14 unit per week guidelines, and could represent up to a third of all people who drink alcohol.

Within that range, some people are drinking just a bit too much, and could do with cutting back a little and then monitoring their drinking to make sure they can keep it within safe levels. Again, the Drinksmeter is the perfect tool for doing this.

Other people may be drinking rather more, perhaps even without realising until they do this type of self-monitoring process, and then they may find that reducing their drinking is more of a challenge than they expected.

This means that you could find that you might be in one of these categories:

  1. Someone whose drinking is under control within the healthy guidelines;
  2. Someone drinking above the recommended limit, but who can carefully bring it down a little on their own;
  3. Someone drinking above the recommended limit, but who then tries to reduce and finds it difficult; or
  4. Someone who is drinking at more risky levels, and who needs advice or support to carefully and safely reduce their drinking.

The only way to work out where you sit within that range is to keep a record of what you are drinking, to see what that means in terms of units of alcohol and risk levels, and then to set a reduced level you feel you can achieve and try it to see how it goes.

All of those processes are covered in the Drinksmeter app. At this lockdown moment, when getting out to see and talk to someone about your drinking is impossible, the Drinksmeter is a perfect self-monitoring tool. For most people it’s all that’s needed, but if you find you need to talk to someone for advice, the right contact details are within the app, based on the region where you live.

If you do find that the amount you’re drinking is higher than you expected, and puts you in the Increasing risk range, a sensible approach is to reduce slowly. If you regularly drink 30 units per week – for example about 12 to 15 cans of cider, or above 3 bottles of wine – to suddenly go ‘dry’ might sound a good goal, but could be more difficult for you than reducing what you drink by a manageable amount over a few weeks.

If even that is a problem, then the contacts listed in the Drinksmeter can give you good advice. However, for most people, if you reduce slowly, it will help to make it manageable and safe.

The next in this series will cover what to do if you realise you are in the Higher Risk drinking category.

At this lockdown moment, when getting out to see and talk to someone about your drinking is impossible, the Drinksmeter is a perfect self-monitoring tool. For most people it’s all that’s needed, but if you find you need to talk to someone for advice, the right contact details are within the app, based on the region where you live.

If you have any comments, questions, problems or feedback, please email us at daat@cornwall.gov.uk

 

 

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Lockdown Home Drinking: 3. How to interpret Drinksmeter scores

April 16th, 2020 by

The types of scores in the Drinksmeter are explained as it takes you through the process, and it then gives advice based on those scores. This still leaves you in control of where you choose to set your own goals from then on.

Within the Drinksmeter there is a 10-question checklist that was formed by the World Health Organisation. This is called the ‘Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Tool’ – AUDIT. We use it in Cornwall as an assessment tool for anyone asking for help around alcohol, and it can be a form of reassurance for those who are ok, or a way of identifying the severity of a problem and the type of support needed for someone needing a bit of help.

At the end of the checklist you will have scored between zero and 40.

0 – 7 is defined as ‘Low Risk’.

This means that someone is drinking within the recommended safe guidelines, and is very unlikely to have any negative health impact from their drinking. That level is around 14 units per week for an adult. Someone in this category may only need to answer the first 3 checklist questions, but the Drinksmeter will work that out and guide you through it.

An easy way to remember the low risk level guidelines is ‘2-3-4’. In other words, low risk drinking means:

2: Only having 2 normal servings of alcohol on days when you choose to have a drink;

3: Only drinking alcohol on about 3 days in any week, and

4: Keeping the 4 days without alcohol in between the drinking days, to give your body a break.

This looks something like this:

Increasing Risk is scored at 8 to 15.

This would mean that someone tends to drink above that 14 unit per week level. This may not cause immediate problems, especially for someone young, fit and healthy, but this pattern will cause gradual and undetected health impact if maintained over a long period, however it could cause immediate problems where ‘binges’ lead to accidents or lack of self-control.

The further up the Increasing Risk score someone finds themselves, the harder they may find it to cut down their drinking.

The same is true for Higher Risk drinking, scored at 16 or above. This type of pattern may be connected to someone suffering from depression or anxiety; or a range of physical health issues, such as increased blood pressure, heart problems, liver issues, or cancers that start from the toxic impact of the journey of alcohol through the body.

If all of this begins to affect choices and responsibility, social impacts on family, relationships and behaviour may make an impact on someone’s life, as well as those around them.

Although many Higher Risk and Increasing Risk drinkers can bring things under control without outside help, for example by following the advice given in the Drinksmeter app, other people in this bracket may need more support if they find that keeping things under control is a struggle.

Some people make genuine efforts to cut down their alcohol, and just find that they can’t. We’ll look at this issue in the next in this series.

There is one more category above Higher Risk drinking, at a score of 20 or above. Someone scoring that high may be dependent on alcohol, with immediate health issues related to their drinking, and for whom cutting down becomes very difficult and dangerous.

Again, that will be covered later in this series.

At this lockdown moment, when getting out to see and talk to someone about your drinking is impossible, the Drinksmeter is a perfect self-monitoring tool. For most people it’s all that’s needed, but if you find you need to talk to someone for advice, the right contact details are within the app, based on the region where you live.

If you have any comments, questions, problems or feedback, please email us at daat@cornwall.gov.uk

 

 

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: