Published Tuesday 18 November 2014 at 15:52
Community group One Voice is tackling drugs and alcohol in Blackburn and Darwen’s BME community through its Baiter Sehat (Better Health) campaign, in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.
One Voice has organised a number of focus groups and interviews from the BME community with the aim of establishing why people from a BME background are reluctant to get support for both drug and alcohol misuse.
The sessions also aimed to tackle stigmas and change society’s perception of those who are victims of substance abuse in order to help them and allow them to feel like they can seek support.
The focus groups concluded that, despite it being a highly sensitive subject matter, mosques and youth workers must educate people and raise awareness of drugs and alcohol abuse.
The discussions highlighted that in many cases, parents who become aware that their child has a substance abuse problem are unaware of how to deal with the issue.
Abrar Hussain, Vice Chairman of One Voice said,
“From discussions with health services and local communities it has become clear that the misuse of Alcohol and Drugs is increasing within the local community. One Voice is keen not only to raise awareness of this in the community but always wants to encourage the local community to recognise that those affected need our support to help them with their problems.”
Further work in the community is planned as part of the Baiter Sehat campaign over the coming months. One Voice will also work with agencies to create ‘community champions’ in this area.
Barry Ashbolt, Principal Strategy Officer at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council with the Drug and Alcohol Action Team said,
“The One Voice BME Drugs and Alcohol Focus Group was a very interesting, open and constructive session. All present made very good contributions to the discussion and a wide range of issues were explored. This Focus Group has done exactly what we wanted to do in that it started the conversation about a potentially tricky issue.”