The flashmob was organised to raise awareness of the 10 local voluntary and statutory support services which support families who are affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol problem across Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland, collectively know as The Carers’ Drug and Alcohol Network. First Contact Clinical manages a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) number for these services which provides a simple and confidential service for each area, helping to signpost people to the most appropriate local support. The support available ranges from informal advice to support groups and 1:1 counselling.
The light hearted awareness campaign is in stark contrast to the serious issue that affects at least 3 million people across the UK. The UK Drug Policy Commission has estimated that at least 1.5 million adults are affected by someone else’s drug use.Government estimates are that up to 350,000 children are affected by parental drug use, and up to 1.3m by alcohol. These family members report that there is a significant negative impact on their physical and mental health, financial circumstances and family relationships.
Through greater awareness of the support available it is hoped that families, who often feel isolated and alone, will use one of the SPOC numbers to find support in their local area. Evidence shows that families who access support are healthier, happier and it improves the chances of the person with a drug and/or alcohol problem in their family accessing and successfully engaging in treatment.
Tyneand Wear Metro have been an active supportive partner in helping to co-ordinate this activity. Adfam, the national charity supporting families affected by drug and alcohol misuse have provided financial and campaign support to the The Carers’ Drug and Alcohol Network to assist the running of this event.
Quote from Dr David Julien, Managing Director, First Contact Clinical:
'Carers of drug and alcohol users often struggle to talk about their experiences because they can feel isolated and worry about being judged and misunderstood.If they do come forward it’s often at crisis point and their physical, mental and emotional health has been deeply affected. First Contact Clinical's aim is to highlight the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) service which is a fast and simple referral service for carers of people with drug or alcohol issues in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland.’