A service is celebrating four years of helping as many people as possible in the county to recover from and stay free of drug and alcohol dependency.
The North Yorkshire Horizons Service is funded by North Yorkshire County Council and it provides a range of free, confidential and non-judgemental services delivered by experienced health professionals and counsellors – they work with people though their journey to recovery from drugs and/or alcohol.
The service is free to people experiencing substance misuse problems and you can either referred or you can just walk-in.
As soon as someone makes contact they are given a key worker who is there to support them to develop a recovery plan that’ is built around them and their circumstances. At any one time, the service supports more than 3,000 people and is proud that waiting times to use its services are shorter than the national average for recovery programmes.
North Yorkshire Horizons has five main recovery hubs in town centre locations and people can come and go discreetly and confidentiality is always guaranteed. There’s also support in rural communities throughout the county where North Yorkshire Horizons uses a range of local venues to hold recovery groups.
On 30 October 2018, the Harrogate New Horizons hosted a celebration party. Put together by Paul Iveson, they held a reception for supporters and service users.
County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing, said:
We’re very proud of North Yorkshire Horizons’ achievements over the past four years. Ensuring that there is an effective service that supports people to address addiction and work towards recovery is a priority for us.
It plays a very important part in our commitment to provide support services that help people to improve and maintain their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Andrew has been using the services at New Horizons for a number of years.
I am born and bread Harrogate, but turned to vodka at a very young age and was allowed to smoke weed at home.
My dad left when I was 4 and then had a step dad, but by aged 15 to find my own feet.
Things had gone on at home and I had lots of anger issues and ended up in prison. I then started developing problems where I couldn’t recall whole periods of time and was getting ripped off by others.
New Horizons have helped me in many ways. Paul has helped me with sorting out benefits and other people that I needed to see. I have become much calmer and they have really helped me and I continue to be supported by them.
They offer a spectrum of support services including detox programmes, methadone, physical and mental assessments, support clinics and a needle service. As a service they know that substance abuse and mental health problems can go hand in hand and offer therapies such as CBT.
To quote their own website “We provide a tailored support programme to help you on your recovery journey”
They aim to take the stigma out of asking for help and there is no finger pointing. They have clients from all age groups and all walks of life.
Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, said:
There can be a stigma with addiction, but everyone can access the services here.
Often people present themselves following a diagnosis of a physical problem, from long-term misuse.
The services can transform their lives.
But substance misuse and mental health needs joined-up management and I think is still a challenge in North Yorkshire.
To find out more about NY Horizons and the services it provides go to http://www.nyhorizons.org.uk/