Home Blog

50 years of Phoenix Futures Residential Services

Celebrating 50 years of Residential Services

W: www.phoenix-futures.org.uk T: 020 7234 9740

Read the full article in DDN Routes to Rehab

Image showing icons from last 50 years

We know from our founder’s Griffith Edwards publications that date as far back as 1968, the positive impact that Phoenix has been making to the lives of “otherwise lost and deprived young men,” and women over the past five decades.

Phoenix Chief Executive, Karen Biggs.
Phoenix Chief Executive, Karen Biggs.

‘We are proud of our history which has seen us grow from a single pioneering residential service to a national organisation with services in community, prisons housing and residential settings. We have adapted our approach over the years to meet the changing needs of our service users, their families and society but our message remains the same; that every person who is dependent on drugs and alcohol has the potential to rebuild their lives’

This year we celebrate 50 years of life-changing work, marking this milestone offered us the opportunity to reflect on the impact that Phoenix has had on thousands of people’s lives.

See details of our services below


Scottish Residential Service

It’s been an exciting 8 months at Phoenix Futures Scotland as we’ve been settling into our  home in Glasgow. The new premises have meant that we can provide even more support for people with more complex physical health needs including those with physical disabilities.

 

The newly refurbished 32 bed centre is fully wheelchair accessible. Detox is available, and clients can choose between a 3 or 6 month programme, delivered in a Therapeutic Community model. Interventions include life story work, peer support, role play therapy, access to gym and leisure facilities, and access to complimentary therapies and supported accommodation.

Our dedicated team facilitate a range of sports, nature and arts activities so that there is something for everyone in this inclusive community.

 

www.phoenix-futures.org.uk/scottish-residential-service


 

Sheffield Residential Service

This spacious Victorian house with large tranquil grounds is set in a leafy area of suburban Sheffield. We are a short bus ride from the city centre and within walking distance of the world-renowned Peak District National Park.

Detox is available, and clients can choose between a 3 or 6 month programme. Alongside a range of interventions delivered by a highly experienced team the community has created a

therapeutic community garden growing fresh produce and creating an opportunity to learn about horticulture.

Recently rated Good with areas of Outstanding practice by CQC.

 

www.phoenix-futures.org.uk/sheffield-residential-service


National Specialist Family Service

Based in Sheffield our unique service offers support for the whole family.

Children up to the age of ten can live on-site where we have an OFSTED registered nursery rated Outstanding.

Parents are able to benefit from treatment to address their drug and alcohol issues and develop their parenting skills whilst remaining the primary carers for their children.

Our team creates a homely child-friendly family environment in a suburban part of Sheffield, just a short walk from local amenities and shops. Recently rated as Good by CQC.

 

 

www.phoenix-futures.org.uk/national-specialist-family-service


Grace House Residential Service

Grace House is our women-only residential rehab service in North London, where clients with multiple complex needs receive trauma-informed care in a therapeutic environment.

With a maximum capacity of 10 clients, there is a high staff/client ratio, with a team of caring female staff delivering a range of specialist interventions on substance misuse, domestic and sexual abuse, eating disorders and other mental health needs.  

The programme includes a 12-week therapeutic programme, EMDR, CBT, 1:1 sessions, trauma-informed yoga sessions, Recovery through Nature sessions, gym sessions and daily structured groups of emotional management.

 

 

www.phoenix-futures.org.uk/grace-house-female-only-residential-service


Wirral Residential Service

Recently fully refurbished Wirral Residential offers a country house setting with peaceful gardens and excellent links with the local community, our excellent staff team provides holistic support and offers opportunities to access volunteering and educational opportunities.

 

Offering detox, and a 3 or 6 month programme in a Therapeutic Community there are even kennels onsite for clients to bring their dogs with them while they stay with us.  

Recently rated Good with areas of Outstanding practice by CQC.

 

 

www.phoenix-futures.org.uk/wirral-residential-service

 

What it’s like to run a needle exchange service

The people I see come from all walks of life. The key is getting to know them properly without judgement

By Cilicia Wyman, Harm Minimisation Worker at Addaction Lincoln

Sitting pride of place in my home is a slightly worse for wear old teddy. Most people assume it’s a relic from my childhood, something I can’t part with. In fact, a man who used the needle exchange service I run gave it to me a few years ago.

I used to work with children who have ADHD and this man’s restlessness, trouble focusing on one thing, and tendency towards impulsive behaviour had some of the hallmarks. He was also using an amphetamine to help focus his mind.

I got him into treatment with a key worker and told them about my concerns so they referred him to a specialist. The specialist agreed with me and gave him medication to put his mind at ease. All of sudden the drugs he was using didn’t have the same hold over him. One day he popped back in, bearing the teddy. After a tough day it’s a great reminder of why I do what I do.

Read the full article on Addaction’s Blog.

DDN magazine is a free publication self-funded through advertising.

We are proud to work in partnership with many of the leading charities and treatment providers in the sector.

This content was created by Addaction, and first appeared on

https://medium.com/addaction-voices/

Correct methadone dosage vital for people being treated for TB

Methadone dose optimisation is vital when treating people on opioid substitution programmes for tuberculosis (TB) and other conditions, according to new research.

Researchers at Aston University’s School of Pharmacy, in partnership with Addaction, looked at how methadone interacts with drugs used to treat other medical conditions. Anti-TB drug rifampicin is known to increase the breakdown of methadone in the body, meaning that methadone levels need to be gradually increased and then decreased after the TB treatment ends. A wide range of medications for HIV and epilepsy, along with some antibiotics, can cause similar interactions, meaning that it’s ‘critical’ to fully understand the clinical implications, the study says.

Dr Raj K. Singh Badhan: TB medication significantly alters level of methadone in the blood.

The researchers found their ‘virtual’ clinical trial – using a mathematical computer modelling technique to analyse previous studies – to be almost 95 per cent effective in ensuring that patients avoided withdrawal symptoms or relapse while undergoing TB treatment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), TB remains one of the top ten causes of death worldwide, with England seeing more than 5,000 cases in 2017. Of these, 13 per cent will have had at least one ‘social risk factor’, such as a history of substance use, time spent in prison, or homelessness.

‘We found that rifampicin significantly alters the level of methadone in the blood and necessitates dose adjustments, with daily doses of almost double those commonly used in clinical practice required for optimal levels of methadone in the blood,’ said lecturer in pharmacokinetics at Aston University Dr Raj K. Singh Badhan.This interaction has wider implications – drugs that are routinely used for epilepsy, HIV and some antibiotics may also result in a similar phenomenon occurring and this research hopes to illustrate the clinical implications of this interaction and offer some approaches to mitigating clinical risk.’

Roz Gittins: Combining methadone with other medications can be challenging.

‘We know that when people are taking methadone for opioid dependency and rifampicin for tuberculosis at the same time, this can be challenging,’ added Roz Gittins, Addaction’s director of pharmacy.We know that there has been a lack of information to advise prescribers on how to change the doses of medication in this situation. Using computer modelling, we have looked at how doses of these medicines may be changed to get the best possible patient outcomes.

‘We plan to apply this research in the “real world” and hope that in the next year we will be able to carry out similar work with other medications that are used in mental health and substance misuse services.’

Read the study at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871619301450

 

Five charts that show why people leaving prison need naloxone

People leaving prison are far more likely to die of a drug related cause. We know the overdose reversal drug naloxone saves lives, we just need to put this knowledge into practice.

Prison release drug deaths graph
Research by King’s College London found that in England and Wales male prisoners are 29 times more likely to die in the first two weeks following their release than the general public. For female prisoners this figure increases to a staggering 69 times more likely. The primary cause for both men and women is heroin overdose.
Steve Moffatt Public Policy Manager at Addaction.
Steve Moffatt Public Policy Manager at Addaction.

Last year my colleague Karen Tyrell wrote about drug related deaths in The Guardian, focusing on a “guitar playing Scot called Stuart” who she got to know as a prison drugs worker. She wrote about how she formed a strong bond with him, how he opened up to her and how he died from an overdose just two days after his release from prison.

Unfortunately this is a common story. People have been locked away for months or years and then we throw them into the deep end on release. It’s not a surprise that many people struggle and some will sink almost immediately. We need to do more to help people reset their lives in a way that supports them.

Read the full article on Addaction’s Blog.

 

DDN magazine is a free publication self-funded through advertising.

We are proud to work in partnership with many of the leading charities and treatment providers in the sector.

This content was created by Addaction, and first appeared on

https://medium.com/addaction-voices/

British ‘get drunk’ more regularly than other nationalities

British people who drink get drunk more regularly than other nationalities, according to the latest Global drug survey. Respondents in the UK reported getting drunk 51 times a year, compared to an average of 33 times.

Participants from other English speaking countries such as the US, Canada and Australia also reported getting drunk regularly – at 50, 48 and 47 times a year respectively – while those in Chile reported getting drunk 16 times per year. Almost 40 per cent of participants who drank alcohol in the previous 12 months said they wanted to drink less in future.

The survey was compiled from data from just under 124,000 people across more than 30 countries. Almost 60 per cent of respondents were male and 87 per cent were white, with a mean age of 29. Sixty per cent said they went clubbing at least four times a year.

Of the 20,000 people who completed the section on cocaine use, less than 9 per cent reported using the drug on a weekly basis, but 65 per cent said they’d used it up to ten times in the previous year. Just over 1 per cent had needed to seek emergency medical treatment following cocaine use, while more than 70 per cent of those who’d recently used it said they would support a ‘regulated fair-trade’ market, with most willing to pay more.

Use of MDMA powder, meanwhile, is now as common as ecstasy pills, although almost three quarters of people who took MDMA reported doing so on ten or fewer occasions. Use of the ‘dark net’ to buy drugs was also on the rise, with more than a quarter of people who’d bought drugs that way doing so for the first time in 2018. MDMA, LSD and cannabis were the most frequently purchased substances.

One third of female respondents reported having been taken advantage of sexually at some point while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and 8 per cent within the last year – the rates for men were 6 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. Alcohol was involved in almost 90 per cent of overall cases.

Of the more than 52,000 respondents who completed the survey’s policing section, almost a quarter reported that they had ‘encountered police’ in relation to their drug use in the last year, including stop and search, roadside testing and use of drug dogs. People in Australia and Denmark were most likely to have had dealings with the police, and those in New Zealand the least.

Most people, however, had favourable attitudes towards the police, the document states. ‘For example 50 per cent of respondents (who are all people who use drugs) said police frequently/somewhat frequently treat people with dignity and respect. But those who have been recently policed had less favourable attitudes, and were less likely to report they would help the police if asked.’

Dr Edward Day, the government’s new recovery champion

Meanwhile, Dr Edward Day has been appointed as the government’s drug recovery champion, the Home Office has announced. Dr Day is clinical reader in addiction psychiatry at the University of Birmingham and a consultant psychiatrist, and has helped develop national clinical guidance for the substance field. He will agree an ‘annual delivery plan for drug recovery’ with ministers, support collaboration between partners such as councils, housing organisations and criminal justice, and aim to tackle issues such as stigma. ‘His work will make a real difference to the lives of those suffering the misery of drug dependency,’ said home secretary Sajid Javid.

Survey results at www.globaldrugsurvey.com

The LGBT body image problem

As part of our focus on mental health this week and the theme for this year – Body Image – to take a look at the LGBT community, with particular focus on the effects brought about by social media.

LGBT Person with rainbow flag

 

People in the LGBT community, through the combination of low self-esteem and stressful life experiences, are some of the most at-risk to develop mental health and eating disorders. Research by NEDA has shown that teenagers who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual may be at higher risk of binge-eating and purging than heterosexual peers.

Body Image is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and now more than ever the discussion needs to be brought up specifically around one of the more affected groups.

To read the full article on Turning point’s blog click here.

 

The full article was created by Turning Point and is available here.

 

DDN magazine is a free publication self-funded through advertising.

We are proud to work in partnership with many of the leading charities and treatment providers in the sector.

This content was created by Turning Point, and first appeared on www.turning-point.co.uk

 

Take a breath

As part of our focus on mental health this week, here are some tips on how to practice deep breathing and become more relaxed.

 

We often see people who have issues with their sleep. Either they lay awake for hours wrestling with their thoughts or are woken up by these in the middle of the night. They feel exhausted and life becomes overwhelming as sleep deprivation takes its toll. Such is the demand for support with sleep that our Wakefield service runs regular workshops specifically to help people improve their sleep.

To read the full article and book dates for workshops click here.

 

The full article was created by Turning Point and is available here.

 

DDN magazine is a free publication self-funded through advertising.

We are proud to work in partnership with many of the leading charities and treatment providers in the sector.

This content was created by Turning Point, and first appeared on www.turning-point.co.uk

 

International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)

May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – or IDAHOBIT.

International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)

 

May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – or IDAHOBIT. The main purpose of IDAHOBIT is to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and the repression of LGBT+ communities world-wide.

Shaun Kennedy, National Equality Diversity and Inclusion Lead CGL
Shaun Kennedy, CGL National Equality Diversity and Inclusion Lead

In turn, it provides an opportunity for organisations and individuals to engage in dialogue with the media, policy makers, public opinion and the wider civil society.

This year’s theme for IDAHOBIT is justice and protection for all. Within the UK when it comes to being lesbian, gay, bi or trans, it is sometimes easy to take justice and protection for granted, particularly as LGBT+ rights have advanced so much over the past 20 years.  However, there are still many gaps in the law and LGBT+ people continue to experience discrimination and injustice in their daily lives. For example, according to research conducted by Stonewall:

  • One in five LGBT people in the UK have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months
  • Two in five trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months
  • Four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents go unreported, with younger LGBT people particularly reluctant to go to the police

In many places around the world, LGBT+ people also face injustice and live in fear and danger. The latest International LGBT Association (ILGA) global report on State-sponsored homophobia, lists 72 states that still criminalise same-sex sexual relations. In 45 of these States the law is applied to women as well as men. Many more States restrict the freedom of speech on gender and sexual diversities or put other forms of legal pressure.

This is why more legal and policy reforms are essential to ensure justice and protection for all LGBT+ people around the world.

Within Change Grow Live, I feel immensely proud to work in an organisation where I feel I can be myself and where my diversity and identity are genuinely valued. This year’s achievement in Change Grow Live becoming a Stonewall top 100 employer is a testament to the fact that we are building a positive working culture.  I fully recognise, however, that there is always be more to be done to improve our equality and inclusion practices. We will continue to focus on improving the experience of our LGBT+ staff, volunteers, service users and their allies.

Read the full article at www.changegrowlive.org

 

DDN magazine is a free publication self-funded through advertising.

We are proud to work in partnership with many of the leading charities and treatment providers in the sector.

This content was created by CGL, and first appeared on www.changegrowlive.org

 

I carried all the suffering alone

From a young age, Carol took it upon herself to make sure her loved ones were OK – at her own expense. She recalls the events that drove her to depression, and how 40 years later she found herself in a now-or-never situation.

Glass being filled with water to illustrate anxiety
But then, with anything else major happening to us or me, my issues became more apparent. I compare it to liquid in a glass: when it’s low down, if you get anything else poured in, it doesn’t come out of the top. But when you are continually functioning like a glass full, and something else happens, it spills over the side.

I didn’t realise over time, it only came about during therapy really, that I probably have been suffering from depression in one degree or another, for about 40 years. For all that time I didn’t know the extent of it, I didn’t do anything to try to combat it.

But I know the initial start of it, the trigger.

I lost my father in a mining accident when I was 17, which was way back in 1976. My mother took it really badly. My sister and brother were younger than I. It was at a critical age really, I was in the middle of my A-Levels; my sister was in the middle of her O-Levels; my brother was 11, an age where he was just starting to form a bond with my dad. As a result of the accident, he went off the rails a little bit. It was horrendous for a bit in the house afterwards.

In those days, depression wasn’t talked about, or dealt with. It was dismissed. I thought it was my job to look after everybody else in the family and to be there for them, and it just all got brushed under the carpet. At the time, I also went through a lot – incidents, events, circumstances – that added to my depression and put a lot more lead on it. Being there for everybody, over the years, just worsened it. I had a lot of personal things that happened to me straight after that, and generally had quite a few traumatic circumstances on and off through my life.

 

The full article was created by Turning Point and is available here.

 

 

DDN is an independent publication funded by advertising. We are proud to work in partnership with some of the leading charities and treatment providers in the sector.

Find out more here.

Time for a compulsory tax on the gambling industry, say academics

A new compulsory levy should be placed on the gambling industry to support people with gambling problems, according to a report published in the BMJ.

The paper also wants to see the 2005 Gambling Act revised and responsibility for gambling moved from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).  

A three-year strategy was recently launched by industry regulator the Gambling Commission to address gambling harms (DDN, May, page 4). However, less than £1.5m was spent in 2017-18 on ‘prevention activity’ in Britain, the paper says, compared to more than £9m in New Zealand, which has a population of 4.7m compared to the UK’s 66m. There is no ‘government-owned strategy’ to prevent gambling harm, and a ‘critical need’ to increase funding, it argues.

The extent and cost of UK gambling has been significantly underestimated, say the academics, and major investment is now needed to ‘alleviate the growing burden’ on society. There are currently 33m active online gambling accounts in Britain, with almost 60 per cent of the population having gambled on activities such as the National Lottery, slot machines, casino games or online gambling within the last year.

Around 340,000 people in Britain are estimated to be ‘problem gamblers’, with a further 550,000 at ‘moderate risk’. The harms associated with gambling can include serious financial problems, relationship breakdown, abuse or neglect of partners and children, and suicide, says the report. Estimates of the social costs of between £200m and £1.2bn are likely to be ‘considerable underestimates’, it adds, while prevention and treatment provision is ‘woefully under-resourced’.

‘Public health approaches to reduce harms related to gambling should encompass a range of population-based approaches supported by regulation, legislation and funding,’ the report states. ‘Simply stating that gambling is a public health concern is not enough. It must also be treated as one.’  While the statutory power to impose a compulsory levy exists, successive governments have been ‘unwilling’ to enact it.

Gambling Report co-author Professor Gerda Reith of the University of Glasgow.
Report co-author Professor Gerda Reith of the University of Glasgow.

‘As a society we need to face up to the broad environment that gambling harm is produced in – the role of the industry, as well as the policy climate that they operate in,’ said co-author Professor Gerda Reith of the University of Glasgow. ‘Gambling doesn’t just affect an individual. The impacts ripple out beyond them to their family, friends, communities and society. Not only does this have major implications for our health services, it is also a social justice issue. Gambling harms disproportionately affect poorer or more vulnerable groups in ways that can exacerbate existing inequalities. We urgently need a marked change in approach, and one that is long overdue.’

Gambling and public health: we need policy action to prevent harm at www.bmj.com