Light shines on Solihull addiction services in BBC Radio 4 show - The Solihull Observer

Light shines on Solihull addiction services in BBC Radio 4 show

Solihull Editorial 21st Aug, 2023   0

A RARE glimpse into the work of Solihull Integrated Addiction Service (SIAS) centre, has aired on BBC Radio 4.

The pre-recorded programme, which forms part of the Inside Health series, features Mark who is an experts by experience.

The 50-year-old opened up to BBC’s health and science correspondent James Gallagher about the substances he has used throughout his life, reflecting on the devastating impact they have had both for himself and his family.

From starting off smoking cannabis to then using class A drugs like cocaine and heroin, Mark reflects on his journey to recovery by saying: “I am now in recovery…It’s beautiful to be on the other side of the fence, every day is a good day now.”

Now 22 months sober, Mark was able to turn his life around with the support from the SIAS centre and is currently working for the service transporting service users.

Simon Glover, programme lead at SIAS shared the steps the team is taking to alert the 1,200 service users to the potential dangers and risks of harmful substances in street drugs.




Simon said: “You never know what’s on the market, it’s always cut with other substances… even rat poison.

“As soon as we know that there is something unusual, something dangerous that has been mixed, we have campaigns on social media and we talk to our service users about the risks.”


Later in the programme, James speaks with toxicologists at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital and a senior lecturer in pharmacology and toxicology at Kings College London who expand further on the dangers of class A drugs and new and emerging street drugs such as Xylazine, an animal sedative.

SIAS is a partnership of organisations, including Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) which work closely together to support people in Solihull who are struggling with alcohol, drug or gambling addiction.

SIAS’ mission is to provide an outcome-focused, high-quality, person-centred and integrated prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery service, addressing the needs of adults, young people, families and organisations affected by addiction.

The full interview is available to listen to on BBC Sounds.

For more about SIAS or to get support click here or call 0121 301 4141.

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