Development day brings Alcohol and Drug Partnership together

A day-long event brought members of the region’s Alcohol and Drugs Partnership back together after two years of enforced separation due to the pandemic.

Staff from NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway Council, and local charities, together with people with lived experience of alcohol and drug use and their families, met at the Crichton to discuss strategies for supporting people who use alcohol and drugs in the region.

The ADP’s independent chair Penny Halliday said: “A large amount of work continues to take place right across our region to address the impact that alcohol and drugs have on people’s lives.

“We continue to see the sometimes devastating effects that alcohol and drugs can have, but a range of services in our region play vital roles providing direct support to individuals and their families, raising awareness of these issues and highlighting approaches that can help.”

Discussion group of ADP stakeholders during the day

The event was organised in association with Figure 8, a health and social care agency with a team of researchers and associate consultants specialising in areas such as alcohol and drug use.

Andy Perkins from Figure 8 said: “We’re really trying to have a discussion about what the development needs are, how we work better together going forward and what our priorities should be.

“The tendency is to focus on what we need to do, but every partnership has to be based on relationships – people need to share their aims, their visions, their informal knowledge and their abilities. It’s basic teamwork.”

Penny added: “The event was fully subscribed, and people have expressed their enthusiasm and passion to continue working together in such a collaborative way.

"It was agreed by everyone that a follow-up event should be held to assess the progress alcohol and drug services are making based on the outcomes from the development day.”

The Alcohol and Drugs Partnership provides information and support for anyone using alcohol or drugs at

The website also includes details of how to get in touch with member organisations, which can offer many forms of support including medical help, counselling, referrals for treatment, family support and mentoring.