RECOVERING drink and drug addicts in Sunderland can get extra support from a new centre.
Connected Recovery, in John Street, has been formed by the North East Regional Alcohol Forum (Neraf) and the North East Council on Addictions (Neca).
It will offer, among other activities, sessions on family support and confidence-building, as well as abstinence groups and drug support.
Help will also be on hand to help people get ready for employment.
Kevan Martin, of Neraf, said: “We’ll also be placing a mentor in Sunderland Hospital for a couple of hours a day.
“The view for that is to point them to this service, because time and time again we get people going to hospital, then as soon as they leave they go to the off-licence.
“We provide very different services for different people in the community.
“Hopefully we’ll be there with them.
“For instance, we can get people into jobs, but they will still need support.”
The opening of the centre saw recovering alcoholics speak about their struggles with drink and how they have turned their lives around.
Many will also be working at the premises to mentor service users as they continue their rehabilitation.
Recovering alcoholic Bill Lindsay, who will be helping people with their addiction problems, said: “Being an alcoholic is not a nice place to be.
“My addiction has taken me to places that I don’t want to go again.
“But now I’ve got my self-esteem back and I’m really interested in keeping up my self-improvement.”
Kevan added: “Help to reduce drug use creates improvements in health and wellbeing.
“It’s about helping people who’ve been affected to move on and also help them make a positive contribution to their community.
“I think that this new centre will go from success to success.
“With the way things are at the minute with the cuts we are trying to be as creative as we possibly can. It will give them the support that they need to feel part of society once again.”
To find out more call about Connected Recovery, call 567 2678.