DDN Sept 2021 September 2021 DDN Magazine | Page 6



BAC-IN is a Nottingham based , specialist drug and alcohol recovery support service for individuals , families and young adults from diverse ethnic communities – an award winning , grassroots community service inspired and founded by people in recovery and built on a foundation of knowledge gained by those with first-hand experience of addiction and multiple disadvantage .

Our approach is holistic and culturally sensitive , enabling individuals to access support with addiction recovery , mental health and additional wellbeing services . We offer a range of activities , including one-to-one and group support , counselling , aftercare , leadership mentoring , personal development workshops and specialist training to help people achieve sustainable recovery ,
It ’ s time to properly address the huge unmet treatment needs of BAME communities , says Sohan Sahota
make responsible life changes and build healthy relationships . The essence of lived experience , addiction recovery and cultural expertise is at the heart of BAC-IN ’ s guiding philosophy , organisational principles and service delivery . We are passionate and motivated to improve outcomes for BAME communities – we ’ ve witnessed and understand the inequity that this community of people experience with addiction , complex trauma and the cultural repercussions for their families . This reality drove the development of BAC-IN in early 2000 as a response to a gap in mainstream drug treatment services for BAME communities .
UNDER-REPRESENTATION Our partner organisation New Hope Rehabilitation ( NHR ) provides abstinence-based supported living accommodation in the Nottingham and Derby area . NHR are a small local BAME-led service founded by professionals with extensive experience of working in substance misuse , criminal justice and adult and children ’ s services , most of whom also have lived experience of recovery from substance misuse . The philosophy of NHR is rooted in the desire to make a lasting difference in the lives of the people who come for help and support .
As a multicultural society , we must address the growing underrepresentation , unmet need and increasing health inequalities in treatment for BAME communities , including women , families , young people and veterans . Despite mainstream services being available for those in addiction , uptake is low amongst BAME people due to their perceptions of such services as clinical and uncaring , as well as a perceived cultural distance between worker and client .
BAME communities are not resistant to treatment , nor are they naïve about treatment services . The realities are closely linked to cultural barriers to access , lack of choice and poor experiences of engagement in available treatment . The impact of cultural shame , discrimination and past experience of racism , exacerbated by mistrust of services and language barriers , prevent many from coming forward for help .
DISCONNECTION Mainstream and addiction charity services are doing excellent work providing generic support , advice and clinical treatment that benefit many from all backgrounds . There is however a disconnect between the experience of BAME communities accessing help and the perceptions of how well service providers are catering for all communities – these misperceptions have left many who are seeking help unsupported , resulting in further complex issues leading to severe health consequences and fatalities . Local and national commissioning arrangements often underestimate the level of need among BAME communities , which often results in stark underrepresentation in treatment as highlighted in the annual NDTMS reports and elsewhere .