COVID-19 Drug and Alcohol Communication

The current situation regarding COVID-19 is having a knock-on effect to our services and how we can support all our drug and alcohol using service users and those in recovery, many of whom are particularly vulnerable.

The Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Recovery Network is a distribution list with over 400 contacts within it, all with a link to drug and alcohol and mental health prevention, support and treatment.

My main role will be to communicate as much as I can with you to keep you as up to date as possible. Please contact me if you have any information or questions around anything which may help our service users, or help you to support our service users, and I will do my best to find out and relay this information to you all. As you can appreciate this is an emerging situation and information can change quite rapidly.

In addition to this webpage which will be updated frequently with information as I receive it, I am also sending email briefings to everyone on the Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Recovery Network distribution list. Urgent information will also be communicated out via email. If you are not on the distribution list and would like to receive these emails then please contact me at fran.catchpole@suffolk.gov.uk or telephone 01473 260777.

Turning Point Commissioned Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service Position

  • The three Turning Point Suffolk hubs in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft remain open for clinical appointments only and staff are trying to do as much as possible over the phone
  • All psychosocial group work has been suspended
  • The Recovery workers are in contact all with service users and providing phone support
  • There are some restrictions where phone support only is not appropriate (for example for opiate users who need to attend medical appointments) and those who are needed in the hub are being invited in.
  • Needle exchange remains available at all three hubs and at pharmacies. Naloxone remains available from Turning Point hubs and selected pharmacies across Suffolk
  • Turning Point have undertaken prescription changes in order that most people can access their Methadone or other substitute medication on a fortnightly basis.  Although in some circumstances, supervised consumption and daily pick up will still need to be adhered to.
  • All new referrals are encouraged to be made via the SPOC phone number 0300 123 0872.
  • The Turning Point Suffolk website – the Suffolk Wellbeing Cloud – has been updated with information relating to COVID-19. There is lots of harm reduction and wellbeing information for drug and alcohol users as well as guidance for GPs around shared care. You can visit the website here.

Harm Reduction

Our number one priority is to keep those using drug and alcohol as safe as possible during this time, and therefore our main focus is to reduce harm in relation to using substances. Please find below information compiled and collated by Ren Masetti, our Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Trainer, about steps drug users can take to minimise risk, information from Turning Point about reducing alcohol intake safely, and also information from Robin Pivett, Controlled Drug Liaison officer for Suffolk Police about drug supply chain interruption during this ongoing situation.

COVID-19 tips for drug users compiled by Ren Masetti (PDF Document)

COVID-19 tips for alcohol users on reducing safely compiled by Turning Point (PDF Document) 

COVID-19 drug supply chain information from Robin Pivett (PDF Document)

Turning Point Suffolk COVID-19 Website

Mutual Aid

Mutual Aid has its own dedicated web page here

Support and Services Directory

I have now collated all support and services information onto one web page to make it easier for you to access the information quickly. The Support and Services available at this time and information about the different ways they are working to keep people safe and supported have been grouped into categories for Drug and Alcohol Specific Services and Support, Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Services and Support, Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Services and Support, Mutual Aid, Housing Related Support, Support for Families, Carers and Affected Others and Other Support and Services. Access the Support and Services Directory  here

Activities Directory

Lots of organisations, groups and individuals are being innovative and coming up with some fantastic ways for people to interact, get creative and stay healthy and busy during this time. The Activities Directory includes activities you can participate in for FREE from the safety of your own home. They have been grouped into categories for Staying Active and Healthy, Expanding the Mind and Learning Something New, and Just for Fun, Being Creative, and the Arts. Access the Activities Directory here

COVID-19 Drug and Alcohol Briefings

Latest briefing:

Briefing 16 Wednesday 27th May 2020 (PDF Document)

An archive of previous briefing documents can be found here

How you can help

Please continue to send any questions, service updates and useful information to fran.catchpole@suffolk.gov.uk. If you have suggestions around anything we are not doing which you think would benefit people then please let me know your ideas and where possible I can try to implement this.

I would also welcome your feedback on this web page. Is it useful and easy to understand or could I present the information in a different way to make it easier for you? Please do get in touch and let me know.

PDF Archive

Please find below an archive of PDF documents which have been embedded within the daily briefings. Please contact fran.catchpole@suffolk.gov.uk if you notice information here which is no longer relevant and I will remove it. 

Robin Pivett Message 27th May 2020 (PDF Document)
Public Health England Guidance on Stopping Drinking for People Dependent on Alcohol (External Website) 
Standing Together Domestic Abuse Guidance Document (PDF Document)
Domestic Abuse Professionals Crib Sheet (PDF Document)
Suffolk Domestic Abuse Services (PDF Document)
Silent Solution Guide (PDF Document)
Duluth Wheel (PDF Document)
Families Suffolk Magazine May 2020 (External website)
NHS Distraction Pack (PDF Document)
AA Style Online Meetings Schedule (PDF Document)
NA Online Zoom Meetings Schedule (PDF Document)
Turning Point Newsletter April 2020 (PDF Document) 
Social Care Information Pack by Ren Masetti (PDF Document)
Green Light Trust Virtual AIR Courses Flyer (PDF Document)
Suffolk Rape Crisis New Services (JPEG Image) 
Robin Pivett Message 16th April 2020
COVID-19 Information for Families (PDF Document)
COVID-19 Advice for Drug Users (PDF Document)
Coronavirus photo symbols poster one (PDF Document)
Coronavirus photo symbols poster two (PDF Document)
Coronavirus photo symbols poster three (PDF Document)
The Ferns Sexual Assault Referral Centre COVID-19 update (PDF Document)
Riverside COVID-19 update (PDF Document)