Drug fight forum under threat

PUBLISHED: 16:13 15 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:01 24 May 2010

THE future of a project which aims to reduce alcohol and drug abuse in youngsters may have to fold - because of a lack of cash. The Community Drug Misuse Forum was set up in 1996 to help reduce drug and alcohol abuse in Nailsea, Backwell, Yatton and surro

THE future of a project which aims to reduce alcohol and drug abuse in youngsters may have to fold - because of a lack of cash.The Community Drug Misuse Forum was set up in 1996 to help reduce drug and alcohol abuse in Nailsea, Backwell, Yatton and surrounding villages.Police officers, headteachers, youth workers, pharmacists, and representatives of drug action teams and local councils, who come into contact with the problems of drug and alcohol abuse during their work, are among its members.In the past five years, more than 2,500 pupils, in their last year at junior school, have attended drug awareness days offered by the forum in conjunction with Nailsea School.It also has also paid for a drugs counsellor to work in Nailsea and Backwell schools, and in the Methodist Youth Club of Nailsea (MYCON).But this year, Nailsea Town Council and Backwell Parish Councils, which have supported the forum's work since 1997, have turned down its request for grants for £12,000 and £3,000 respectively.Unless alternative funding can be found, the forum will have to fold. Chairman of the Community Drug Misuse Forum Alan Emery said: "Lots of money is spent on helping adults once they are in the grip of drug and alcohol addiction."Our emphasis has always been on prevention, discouraging young people from taking drugs and abusing alcohol, and helping those youngsters who need help with these issues at the earliest possible stage. We are looking to secure funding from anywhere we possibly can so that the forum's work, to stem the rising tide of drug and alcohol abuse in our local communities, can continue."Members of Nailsea Town Council decided to channel funding towards the Methodist Youth Club of Nailsea (MYCON) instead of giving the forum a grant.Parish councillors in Backwell opted to spend the £2,000 the forum had requested to fund the work of a drugs counsellor at Backwell School.

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