Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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New service user led forum

March 09 2011
New group wants to improve substance isuse services in Birmingham

Birmingham Drugs and Alcohol Action Team (BDAAT) has launched a new monthly Service User and Carer Forum. The team has recently been improving involvement throughout Birmingham using research from the 36 services available to users.

The term 'service user' applies to all those who have been affected by their own or another person's drugs or alcohol misuse. Forum meetings are inclusive: they are for people who have experienced treatment, are midway through treatment or are considering seeking future support and therapy. The gatherings are also open to people who have been indirectly affected by drugs and alcohol misuse, through others.

The members act as a positive think tank and engine for the progression of the group. On a larger scale, they wish to develop and improve substance abuse services throughout Birmingham. The meetings, which revolve around issues of particular concern or interest to users, are emphatically member-led. Mark Spooner, the chair, commented the Forum aims to "inform, educate and empower service users in their personal recovery journey." It is a positive platform of motivation for its members.

The Forum plans to hold meetings that welcome the general public to experience their constructive work. They aim to provide facilities such as childcare during the gatherings and hope to establish partnerships with other service user groups throughout the West Midlands. This could have a powerful effect on the future improvement of services within Birmingham and the relationship between service users and providers.

BDAAT commission service providers across Birmingham to help with drug and alcohol treatments. Their helpline allows those in need to contact the team, which offers immediate professional advice and support and can refer them to an appropriate service or therapy. The system is designed to provide quick and efficient help and long-term support. Members choose the venue for meetings, there is a free buffet and bus fares will be reimbursed.

New members are always welcome.

•  For more information, please call 0800 073 0817