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Safer 6: Changing people’s lives through support for drug and alcohol misuse | Sandwell Council

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Safer 6: Changing people’s lives through support for drug and alcohol misuse

Published 28th September 2021

Safer 6 - Substance Misuse Awareness Week

Sandwell Council, the Safer Sandwell Partnership and Sandwell’s young people’s alcohol and drug service DECCA are raising awareness of substance misuse as part of the Safer 6 campaign.

They are promoting the support available for people locally as part of the campaign's Substance Misuse Week (27 September – 3 October).

Support for young people

DECCA has been busy over the past 12 months creating an online resource called the DECCA Awareness Club at the Our Guide To website.

The site includes information on a range of different drugs, prevention support and resources for young people and adults. Throughout the Safer 6 campaign, the DECCA Awareness Club will include a weekly focus on the misuse of the following drugs: Alcohol, Cannabis, Nitrous Oxide (NOS), Cocaine, Crack Cocaine and Heroin.

What are the risks?

Young people who misuse alcohol are more likely to take drugs, trigger or exacerbate mental health conditions as well as increasing the risk of liver damage.

All drugs carry risks, and you never know how your body will react to a drug. Some drugs put pressure on your heart and breathing which can lead to heart failure. Some drugs are new, and their harms may not be fully known. Sometimes drugs don't contain what you think they do, and they may include lots of dangerous chemicals that could cause serious harm.

Support for adults

Sandwell Council’s adult service Cranstoun provides a range of free and confidential advice and support to adults in Sandwell who would like to talk about alcohol or drugs. The online alcohol and drug self-assessment tools available on the Cranstoun website will help assess alcohol and drug use. Cranstoun Sandwell also provides a range of support services in:

  • Advice and referral for additional services e.g. housing or finances
  • Family information and support
  • GP-based shared care services
  • Group sessions and programmes
  • Health MOTs
  • Access to mutual aid
  • One-to-one sessions
  • Harm reduction advice
  • Prescribing services
  • Recovery champions and peer support
  • Recovery-focused treatment

Councillor Bob Piper, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said "The misuse of drugs, alcohol or other substances is still one of the most devastating ways in which individuals can harm themselves, their families and the communities they live in.

"The pressures on young people and adults at the moment are unprecedented. We want to keep people safe and it’s vital that those who are relying on drugs and alcohol seek help.

"We want to empower and support people to make positive changes. We are here to help you, your friends and family. We have a range of support services that are available."

Should I be worried about my drugs or alcohol use? 

  • Do you think about drugs or alcohol every day?
  • Is it hard for you to say “no” if someone offers you drugs or alcohol?
  • Do you use alcohol or drugs to relax or feel better?
  • Are drugs or alcohol affecting your activities or your relationships with family and friends?
  • Do you get into trouble because of your drinking or drug use?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, you can get support as follows: 

Sandwell's Smoking Cessation Support Service is Everyone Health on 0333 005 0095 or text ‘QUIT’ to 60777 or visit the Everyone Health website

Sandwell's annual autumn Safer 6 campaign, now in its 12th year, promotes a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice online and across the six towns. The 2021 campaign runs from 27 September to 7 November. Each of the six weeks will have a different theme. Go to the council's Safer 6 webpage for more information.

The campaign is led by Sandwell Council for the Safer Sandwell Partnership, which brings together the council, Sandwell Police, West Midlands Fire Service and many other partner organisations.

Follow the campaign on Twitter and Instagram using the #Safer6 hashtag and on the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for Safer Sandwell Partnership organisations and services.

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