08:00 Sunday 22 December 2013

Service adds a touch of spice to Christmas

Written bySARAH BOULD

THOUGH it’s not the usual choice, curry was served for Christmas dinner at a party held for people in Burton battling drug addictions.

The Addiction Dependency Solutions group meets twice a week at the Caribbean Association, and works with other agencies to help service users get their lives back-on-track. Team leader, Lynn Arnold said: “Sometimes it’s the only Christmas they get. We try to make it as nice as we can.”

“We really try to instill some normality over Christmas.”

There are a high number of people using the service in Burton and it is one of the busiest in Staffordshire.

Surjut Singh, 42, has been going to the centre for more than a year. He said: “I was having a lot of problems with finances and was subject to the second bedroom tax. I have been really lucky to get help.

“It was only after 15 years that you realise you’ve got a problem. I don’t do any other form of drugs but started smoking cannabis when I was 18. At one point I want to stop and the lecture children at schools and colleges.

“It’s an expensive habit.”

Caroline Bennett, 29, from Burton, has been using the centre since August. She said: “It builds confidence and helps me to make choices.”

People can self-refer to the group or may be referred by the probation service. A lot of referrals are people who have come out of prison, Lynne tells me. “There is nobody we won’t see.’ She said.

Though many people may immediately think of class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine as being the main culprits for impacting on people’s lives, it is class b drugs cannabis and legal highs that are more common in the Burton area.

“The trend now is legal highs such as MKat and Synthetic cannabinoids’, said Lynn ‘Black mamba is big in this area.”

The Clay Oven Indian restaurant provided the 60 meals free of charge.

Raise Hussain from the restaurant said they wanted to help people in the area.

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