New service for town’s Eastern European drug addicts

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A DRUG service which helps users kick the habit has launched a new scheme for Rotherham’s Roma community.

Rotherham’s Drug Intervention Programme has launched the new programme in Eastwood.

It is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and aims to help young Eastern Europeans who test positive for opiates.

Staff at Clearways in Effingham Street, Rotherham, have enlisted an interpreter to help translate for the Roma clients, who are in their late teens and early twenties.

A support worker who speaks Slovakian accompanies the community health visitor.

Staff have also signed up a solicitor to help the community who are having problems with debts and claiming benefits.

Police, teachers from the local school, Rotherham United community workers, health visitors and the council are also working with the Roma community.

Matt Pollard, service manager for RDaSH’s drug and alcohol services in Rotherham, said: “The staff from all our services try to make it easy for service users to access treatment. The team have enabled this group to overcome language and cultural barriers so that they can access the services that they need.

“The downsides of substance misuse are fairly obvious and anything that helps less well-integrated groups to address their drug or alcohol issues can only improve their social and health opportunities - both as individuals and as a wider part of the Rotherham community.”