AGENCIES and organisations across Bromsgrove are being urged to help combat drug abuse and addiction by joining a new group.
The idea for the ‘Substance Misuse Multi-Agency Forum’ was conceived after Labour leader Coun Michael Thompson approached council leader Coun Karen May and the cross-party campaign was launched.
The drive will use a ‘two-pronged attack’ to tackle issues – helping those in need of support to get off drugs and stopping the dealers who feed the potentially deadly habits.
Coun May said: “We want people to know where they need to go to get help and who they need to speak to and it will all be treated in the strictest confidence.
“We want to help and enable people to make the right choices in life.”
Coun Thompson added the idea came to him after speaking to drug rehabilitation group leaders and youth workers.
“They walk around areas like Charford and Sidemoor and if they see groups of youths they go and speak to them and ask them if they are concerned about anything.”
The pair vowed to clampdown on drug-dealing which was going on across the district on a daily basis.
Coun Thompson said: “It’s happening in alleyways and footpaths on school routes in Charford and other areas at all times of day – we need to get it off the streets or the children who walk past it and encounter it could be the users, addicts and dealers of tomorrow.
“It is illegal, it should not happen and if people are addicted they need to come off it and we can help them do that.”
Among the issues are County Lines operations where dealers from bigger cities, such as Birmingham, set up in towns to supply drugs and cuckooing – where vulnerable people are manipulated into allowing their properties to be used for dealing.
Coun May and Coun Thompson want to hear from police, youth organisations, drug rehabilitation groups and organisers, councillors from across the district and anyone else who thinks they can help by getting involved.
Anyone else interested in being part of the Substance Misuse Multi-Agency Forum should email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.