New NHS service to treat drugs, alcohol and gambling addictions to be launched in Milton Keynes

Two new services will be launched in April to help residents who are addicted to drugs, alcohol or gambling.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 3:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 3:49 pm

The Adult Drug & Alcohol Treatment Service has been commissioned by MK Council and will be delivered by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL).

It means local people will be able to access a wide range of support including detox, rehabilitation, substitute prescribing and group work..

Innovatively, MK Council is one of the first authorities in the UK to extend its drug and alcohol support to people experiencing problems with problematic gambling. This could make a crucial difference for some vulnerable people, as up to a fifth of those suffering drug and alcohol misuse will also have a significant gambling problem, say experts.

Alcohol and drug addictions often go hand in hand with gambling, say experts

Alongside this scheme, the council has also commissioned a Support, Advocacy, Mentoring and Advice Service, to be delivered by Community Led Initiatives, who run similar successful services in Bedfordshire. This is intended to help residents develop the skills and relationships needed to sustain their recovery post treatment.

Both new services will be open to friends and family of people suffering addiction and to others affected, with a focus on education and support.

Cllr Hannah O’Neill, Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing said: “This package of support services should be a valuable lifeline to vulnerable people in Milton Keynes. Sadly, gambling, alcohol and substance abuse are common addictions and everyone should have the opportunity to get good quality help to make and sustain a positive change.”

CNWL is also the provider of community mental health services in Milton Keynes. They work with many vulnerable residents who experience both drug or alcohol and mental health problems.

Problem gamblers are a hidden population among people with mental health or substance abuse issues who often don't get the treatment they need, a new study shows. Anywhere from 10 to 20 per cent of people with substance abuse problems also have significant gambling problem, yet few programmes are targeted at them.