Barking’s drug and alcohol treatment centres set to be closed
- Credit: Archant
There will soon be no permanent drug and alcohol treatment centre in Barking as the only two centres based there face closure.
Drug users and alcoholics from Barking will either have to use a new hub service or travel to St Luke’s in Dagenham to access a permanent centre providing council-commissioned services.
Addaction, in Linton Road, is set to close imminently and the Red Lion service, in the former pub in George Street, will close in “a couple of months” after the new service begins in April.
Once the new system begins, those seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction in Barking after the Red Lion service has closed will instead have to go to hubs in different locations which are yet to be finalised, the Post has learned.
At these hubs, drug users will be able to access medication such as naloxone, a form of medication which weakens the effects of opioids in case of overdose, as well as counselling.
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A council spokesman said that the borough was “committed to providing a service that is aimed at helping people get the treatment and support they need, in a way that suits them”.
He added: “Visiting specific buildings can be a barrier for some people, and intimidating to others, and so by bringing the service to individuals we will eliminate exclusion and help bring our drug and alcohol services into the 21st century.”
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But service user David Adlett is unconvinced by the plans and says the move “could cost lives”.
People rely on the security of having a permanent centre they can drop into, he said, and people in Barking are unlikely to travel to Dagenham to seek help.
“A lot of people can’t afford to get a train from Barking to Dagenham every day,” he said.
Mr Adlett said the closure of the permanent centres would mean people are less likely to kick their habit.
This will in turn lead to a rise in crime, he added.
A spokeswoman for Addaction said: “We’ve delivered a good service in the area, but as of April 1 the service will no longer be delivered by Addaction.”
CGL, who will be delivering the new service, have been contacted for comment and more information on how this will work.