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'We're undervalued' – addictions service in Inverness wants more support

By Marko Srsen

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Sharan Brown.
Sharan Brown.

A large-scale event aiming to help combat the use of drugs and alcohol among young people in the Highlands – as well as offering support to addicts and their families – will be staged this week.

The event organised by the Highland Council, named Vision 2026, will host 40 local groups and organisations looking to highlight the key work they do to support children, young people and families across the region – with one of the six key areas being drugs and alcohol.

Sharan Brown, the development manager of Addictions Counselling Inverness (ACI), which has been invited to attend the event at Inverness Leisure, believes the sector needs more funding and general support.

She said: "I feel our therapists and counsellors are undervalued. The NHS fund us enough for 45 patients per year – we receive 35 referrals per month."

The ACI has helped many people over the years, and has recently started to do workshops with local football clubs to teach children the dangers of addiction.

The event will also cover key areas of poverty, health and wellbeing, child protection, so-called corporate parenting and children's rights and participation, with various different organisations and local groups representing the different areas.

A new plan for children's services in the Highlands for the period to 2026 will be launched at the event.

The free event will run from 11am-3pm on August 25. Sign up to attend here.

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