Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

Alcohol and Drug Partnership

An increase has been recorded in the number of suspected drug-related deaths in Dumfries and Galloway in the first half of 2021. 

Although newly-published numbers for 2020 show a reduction in the number of confirmed drug-related deaths within the region compared to 2019, in the first six months of 2021 there was a total of 25 suspected drug-related deaths. 

These are suspected drug-related deaths which have yet to be confirmed. However, they currently represent a 39 per cent increase over the same period last year and comes despite ongoing, concerted efforts to promote measures which can cut drug deaths – including the provision of free Naloxone kits which can help reverse an overdose. 

As part of a campaign promoting the message that drug deaths are preventable, information is contained within this page which offers advice around how to reduce risks, sets out actions that should be taken in emergency situations, and provides directions on where to obtain support. 

Don’t Take Drugs Alone

Taking drugs on your own is not a wise idea.

Most fatal overdoses take place when people are taking drugs on their own, behind closed doors. Taking drugs alone increases the chances of a fatal overdose, because there is no one else there to call for help. This is why it’s really important to have a trusted person there who can call emergency services for help if it’s needed.

Having someone you can trust with you in the room is really important when using opioids. It means there is someone there who can call for an ambulance. However, they might also be able to give you naloxone, which can be used in emergencies to help reverse the effects of opioids.

To find out where you can get naloxone, please click this link:

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Don’t Mix Drugs

Taking a mixture of different drugs in a single session can be very dangerous.

People will often take one drug, and then take another to ‘top up’ or come down. Sometimes they will replace the drug they are taking with another drug.

However, this drug mixing can create unexpected, unwanted and unpredictable effects on both your physical and mental health. Taking opioids like heroin and methadone and depressants like benzodiazepines and alcohol in combination is very risky.

Please don’t take drugs that aren’t prescribed to you, or that have been bought online. You won’t know what they contain or the harm that they can cause you.

Drug use carries a risk of overdose in its own right.

When drugs are combined, this risk is very much increased.

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Don’t Try New Substances

Everyone should be very cautious about the sources they buy drugs from, and the drugs they take. Please don’t be tempted to try new substances. Don’t take pills or powders unless you know what they are, as you don’t know what affect they will have.

‘Street benzos’ are a benzodiazepine-type tablet which may be known as blues, vallies, benzos, scoobies and diazepam.

Much of the diazepam sold at street level contains other benzodiazepines such as etizolam. Taking “street benzos” daily can have serious consequences to your physical and mental wellbeing and frequent use can lead to anxiety, depression and sleep problems. Etizolam is unpredictable, and is a leading cause for hospitalisation and deaths in the UK.

There are key actions that can reduce some dangers when injecting drugs.

Not sharing drugs or equipment with another person is very important. Sharing drugs/equipment can put you at risk of infection through blood-to-blood contact.

Sharing drugs/equipment puts you at a higher risk of HIV and other infections found in the blood like hepatitis C.

Sharing of needles and syringes can create a high risk of passing infection on to others. It’s important to remember that the equipment such as spoons, water, filters which are used when preparing drugs for injection can have traces of blood on them.

Top tips are:

  • Wipe down any drug packaging, wraps or baggies with alcohol wipes as soon as possible after buying
  • If preparing drugs, always prepare a clean surface, cleaned down with anti-bacterial spray or alcohol wipes. If it’s not possible, use something like clean kitchen roll and dispose of it afterwards
  • Do not share any paraphernalia, including needles, water, spoons of equipment for injecting straws or equipment for snorting, pipes for smoking or dabbing in shared bags.
  • New equipment greatly reduces the risk of ALL infections
  • Clean your hands and the injecting site
  • Alternate your injecting site (rotate sites)
  • Use sterile water
  • Maintain skin health
  • Dispose of equipment safely

It is important to dispose of used needles carefully. The best place is a proper sharps bin, which you can get from your local needle exchange and some chemists. For more information on needle exchange in Dumfries and Galloway contact:

NHS Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service
Lochfield Road Primary Care Centre,
12 Lochfield Road,
Dumfries
DG2 9BH         

01387 244555

We Are With You
79 Buccleuch Street
Dumfries
DG1 2AB

0800 035 0793

If you believe someone is having an overdose, or if you feel unwell after taking any drug, dial 999 immediately.

 

If you can correctly identify the physical signs and symptoms of an overdose, there is a chance you will be able to save a life. It is important to remember that the time gap between using drugs and slipping into an overdose can be several hours.

 

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Pinpoint pupils (this indicates whether opioids are involved).
  • Breathing problems (e.g. slow/shallow or infrequent breaths, snoring/rasping sounds or not breathing at all).
  • Pale skin colour. Lips, tip of nose, fingertips or nails with a bluish tinge.
  • No response to noise (shouting) or touch (shoulder shake).
  • Loss of consciousness

 

What you can do:

  • Be vigilant and think of your own safety first. Watch out for needles that might be around the casualty. Never attempt to re-cap a needle.
  • Check the casualty for a response – shake their shoulders and shout loudly ‘open your eyes’ or ‘wake up’.
  • If there is no response, shout for help from anyone that is around.
  • Turn the casualty on their back and open their airway by gently placing two fingers under their chin and tilting their head back.
  • Place your ear above the casualty’s mouth and LISTEN for breathing, FEEL for breath on your cheek. Also LOOK at their chest to see if it rises and falls. Do this for 10 seconds.

 

If the person is breathing, place them in the recovery position. Dial 999 and calmly ask for an ambulance. Give the location and status of the casualty, i.e. the address and that the casualty is unconscious and breathing. Stay with the person until the ambulance arrives.

 

If the person is not breathing, dial 999 and calmly ask for an ambulance. Give the location and status of the casualty – i.e. the address and that the casualty is unconscious and NOT breathing. Begin CPR. If you don’t know CPR, the emergency call handler can talk you through this process.

 

Click this link to learn:

  • How to respond when someone is unconscious & unresponsive
  • How to respond to suspected opioid overdose
  • How to put someone into the recovery position
  • How to perform CPR
  • How to inject Prenoxad Injection (injectable naloxone)

 

http://www.prenoxadinjection.com/drug/how-to.html

Naloxone is the name of a medication which can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The most commonly known opioids are heroin, methadone, buprenorphine, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and tramadol.

Opioids affect the part of your brain that instructs your lungs how to breathe. During an overdose, this signal is reduced and then eventually switched off. If used within a short period of time, naloxone can be a life saver by allowing you to breathe again.

Using naloxone allows time for someone to seek emergency help.

Naloxone kits can be supplied to drug users at risk of an opioid overdose and can be given to their family and friends to be used by them when someone has had an overdose.

Remember: naloxone kits save lives.

Organisations Issuing Naloxone Kits in D&G:

NHS Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service

Lochfield Road Primary Care Centre,
12 Lochfield Road, 
Dumfries
DG2 9BH 

01387 244555

We Are With You
79 Buccleuch Street
Dumfries 
DG1 2AB

0800 035 0793

Local Services in Dumfries and Galloway

With Are With You is a charity providing free, confidential support to people experiencing issues with drugs or alcohol use.

We Are With you will work with you on your own goals – whether that’s cutting down your drug or alcohol use, stopping completely or just getting a bit of advice.

This service is for you if you’re:

  • 16 or over
  • living in Dumfries and Galloway
  • worried about your own drug or alcohol use or someone else’s

Needle Exchange: If possible, pre-order by phone or via the online click and collect service. To place order online go to: https://dumfriesandgalloway-nx.wearewithyou.org.uk 

Collection or delivery available from both Dumfries and Stranraer offices. 

Naloxone available.

Assessments and Interventions conducted via telephone or video calling. Staff can be contacted during normal working hours via phone or webchat.

Website: www.wearewithyou.org.uk

Email: allatdumfriesandgalloway@wearewithyou.org.uk

79 Buccleuch Street, Dumfries, DG1 2AB
Tel: 01387 263208

 

32 Charlotte Street, Stranraer, DG9 7EF
Tel:  01776 705904

 

Monday – Friday:  9am – 9pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 4pm

ADS offer a range of community-based services across Dumfries and Galloway, to help people affected by alcohol, drugs or gambling problems – their own, or someone else’s.

Their specialist, qualified, experienced Talking Therapists can offer a range of therapeutic approaches during their work with you. They work hard to offer a high quality of service to anyone in need of support with alcohol or drug issues, or who wishes to reduce their alcohol or drug use.

Website: www.adssws.co.uk

225 King Street, Castle Douglas, DG7 1DT
Tel:  01556 503550

79 Buccleuch Street, Dumfries, DG1 2AB
Tel:  01387 259999

32 Charlotte Street, Stranraer, DG9 7EF
Tel:  01776 70262

Working in partnership with Alcohol and Drug Support – South West Scotland and Addaction the NHS Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service offer comprehensive support to people aged 18 years and over who have a dependency or complex problems related to alcohol or drug use.

You will receive a full assessment of your physical, psychological and social needs, and have a plan of care tailored individually to your needs, drawn up and agreed by you and an identified member of the team who will be responsible for the management and evaluation of your care.

Examples of treatments available include:

  • Detoxification
  • Medication
  • Psychological Interventions
  • Occupational therapy
  • Blood Borne Virus – counselling, testing and immunisation
  • Assessment and referral to residential rehabilitation

Injecting equipment provision available. Appointments are via telephone where possible. Face-to-face appointments are available if appropriate. 

Website: https://dghscp.co.uk/specialist-drug-and-alcohol-service/

Lochfield Road Primary Care Centre, Dumfries, DG2 9BH

Tel:  01387 244555/244550

 

Normal opening hours: 8:30am – 5pm

ISSU18 is a regionwide service for children and young people up to the age of 18 who are affected by problematic substance misuse. This can be either their own or that of a family member which is having a significant impact on the young person’s day-to-day life.

ISSU18 consists of mental health nurses and a consultant psychiatrist whom are employed by the NHS. ISSU18 believe in keeping knowledge base and skills as up to date as possible thus to give clients the best standard of care.

Website: https://dghscp.co.uk/issu18/

Email: dg.CAMHS-mail@nhs.scot

Normal opening hours: 8:30am – 5pm

Service Base(East)

The Willows, The Crichton, Dumfries, DG1 4TG

Tel:  01387 244622

Service Base (West)
ISSU18 – West, Waverly Medical Centre, Stranraer, DG9 7DW
Tel:  01776 707759

Being There are a free, confidential, non-judgmental service that will offer a listening ear when struggling with your loved one’s drug or alcohol use.

They can offer emotional support, help and practical advice when you need it most.

Being There can help the parent, sibling, grandparent, child [over 18], partner, best friend of someone struggling with alcohol or drugs problems.

Telephone: 0333 8806950

Email: BeingThere@adssws.co.uk

Website: https://www.adssws.co.uk/being-there/

Useful Links

The Scottish Drugs Forum is national resource of expertise on drug issues

Website: https://www.sdf.org.uk/ 

Telephone 08080 10 10 11

Website: https://www.sfad.org.uk/

The Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

You can also contact the Helpline by emailing helpline@sfad.org.uk

Telephone UK/ROI:116123   
Website: www.samaritans.org

Telephone: 0800 917 7650   
Website:
www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

Telephone 111
Website: www.nhs24.scot 

Telephone 0300 1236600
Text: 82111   
Website: www.talktofrank.com  

Contact Us

ADP Support Team

2nd Floor East
Mountainhall Treatment Centre
Dumfries
DG1 4AP

01387 244351  

About Us

Dumfries an Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) is a body made up of representatives from a wide range of partners across the region.  This includes input from Health, Social Work, Housing, Police, Procurator Fiscal Service and the Voluntary sector.

The ADP is responsible for planning and joining up the various initiatives across the region to tackle alcohol and drugs misuse, and to try and prevent it becoming a problem for people. Examples of ongoing work include specialist services, community initiatives, raising awareness of local issues, prevention education programmes in schools, to treatment options and supporting families and those with substance problems towards recovery, healthy lifestyles and employment.