Drink and Drugs News DDN June 2020 - Page 5

News DDN EVERY DAY All the news, updated daily www.drinkanddrugsnews.com Sergey Nazarov/iStock Half of people with gambling disorder have not accessed support Just under half of people with a gambling disorder have not accessed treatment or support, according to a study by GambleAware. Of those scoring above eight on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) – considered ‘high risk’ – 46 per cent had not accessed support. The research, which included a YouGov survey, found that up to 61 per cent of the population had gambled in the last 12 months. Overall, 17 per cent of gamblers experiencing harm at any level had accessed support over the last year, with barriers to seeking treatment including stigma, reluctance to admit having a problem and lack of awareness of available services. Perceived stigma or shame was cited as a reason for not accessing support by 27 per cent of problem gamblers. In particular, women and people from BAME communities and lower socio-economic backgrounds may ‘not be having their treatment and support needs adequately met’, says GambleAware. Just under a fifth of gamblers from lower socio-economic backgrounds were ‘likely to report that nothing would motivate them to seek support’, researchers said, while women were three times more likely than men to cite practical barriers like time, cost or location as reasons for not accessing treatment. Around 7 ‘Sobriety tag’ scheme rolled out nationwide THE GOVERNMENT is rolling out its ‘sobriety tag’ programme for offenders across England and Wales, following pilots in London, Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire. The ankle tags monitor an offender’s sweat around the clock to determine whether alcohol has been consumed, with courts able to order people to wear them for up to 120 days. The programme will aid rehabilitation by making people ‘address the causes of their behaviour’, the government states, and so reduce alcoholrelated harm. ‘Smart technologies like sobriety tags not only punish offenders but can help turn their lives around,’ said crime minister Kit Malthouse. Courts will be able to order people to wear ankle tag monitors for up to 120 days. Women were three times more likely than men to cite practical barriers like time, cost or location as reasons for not accessing treatment per cent of respondents said other people had also been affected by their gambling. GambleAware is calling for services tailored to the needs of groups less likely to access services, as well as campaigns to increase awareness and reduce stigma. ‘This research has shown that there is a clear need to further strengthen and improve the existing treatment and support on offer, to develop routes into treatment and to reduce barriers to accessing help,’ said GambleAware chief executive Marc Etches. ‘Services have to be flexible to meet the needs of individuals and easy to access. Working with those with lived experiences is essential in designing and promoting access to services, as well as helping to prevent relapse. It is important to engage community institutions including faith groups, to help make more people aware of the options available to them and ensure no one feels excluded from services.’ Treatment needs and gap analysis in Great Britain at gambleaware.org One-stop shop THE SOCIAL INTEREST GROUP (SIG) has launched a new ‘faster, easier to navigate and more user-friendly’ website containing all the information on SIG and its subsidiary organisations Equinox Care and Penrose Options in one place. The site includes careers pages, service user stories and staff blogs, as well as integrated social media links. ‘I am pleased that we have achieved this in the time that we have,’ said group chief executive Gill Arukpe. ‘It is particularly exciting that instead of three disparate websites of differing quality, look and feel, there is now one single site where visitors can find out about the wonderful work we do to support our service users.’ Local News NEW HORIZONS Alcohol Change UK is inviting applications for its New Horizons grants programme, which will fund ‘fresh, innovative’ research projects on the theme of ‘groups, communities and alcohol harm’ with awards up to £65,000. Contact [email protected] alcoholchange.org.uk for more information. SPECIAL DELIVERY WDP is partnering with delivery company Hermes to make sure its Capital Card users can receive essential items such as toiletries during the pandemic. ‘Our Capital Card team are doing everything they can to find new and innovative ways to support our service users,’ said WDP chair Yasmin Batliwala. BUDDY UP The Kaleidoscope Project’s Birchwood residential detox centre community in Birkenhead has developed a ‘sobriety buddy’ initiative to provide support and share experiences. ‘We were becoming acutely aware that extra support was needed during the COVID-19 restrictions,’ said manager Jo Moore. WWW.DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS.COM JUNE 2020 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • 5