People urged to seek help for drug and alcohol addiction as part of West Bromwich charity's campaign

People are being encouraged to seek support for their drug and alcohol addiction as part of a Black Country charity’s 2022 anti-stigma campaign.

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group
The Kaleidoscope Plus Group

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, based in West Bromwich, launched its Drug and Alcohol Recovery Programme last year to help people across Sandwell.

And now it is aiming to help end the stigma attached to those struggling with their addiction, with a series of videos being launched to raise awareness.

Faye Brecknock, training services manager and project lead, said: "At Kaleidoscope we understand that addiction is an illness, and we are striving to end the stigma around this awful disease.

"We are passionate about championing change and giving people the opportunities, support and services, they deserve to empower them to live happy and healthy lives, free from stigma and judgement."

One service user featured in the awareness-raising video said: “Before I was using drugs, my life was pretty normal. I had a job working at McDonald's and I was going to school. Then something happened to me in my teens that led to me getting in with the wrong crowd and I started using heroin and crack cocaine.

“When my dad died, things escalated even more, and it’s been non-stop ever since. I have been in and out of jail, it’s been relentless.

“I am getting help now, I have a long way to go but I am getting the support I need. I would say to anyone in a similar situation to mine to always seek help because there is support out there.”

The Kaleidoscope programme offers support sessions for anyone affected by addiction, including those in recovery, those currently experiencing addiction and family and friends. Courses cover a range of topics, including how to support family and friends through recovery, the five ways to wellbeing, mindfulness, coping with anxiety and depression, creative crafts and confidence and assertiveness.

The interventions are complimentary to those delivered by Cranstoun, which provides the alcohol and drug service for Sandwell residents. The service was launched with £10,000 funding from Public Health Sandwell.

Mrs Brecknock added: “The impact of addiction on mental health can affect all areas of a persons’ life and can be devastating. This may include struggling to manage finances and maintain employment or education, the threat of debt and homelessness, the ability to maintain healthy relationships and in the worst cases, a threat to life.

“We know addiction can be debilitating so this project aims to support people to move forward, develop their sustainable coping skills and reduce the stigma that so many feel and experience in their communities.”

For more information about the programme email training@kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk or call 0121 565 5605.

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