Text messages to offer help and support to drug users

Content originally from Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex

Essex Police is beginning an innovative tactic which sends texts messages offering help and support to drug users. In work funded by the V&V Partnership, SMS text messages will be sent to potential drug users who have been identified following investigations into county line drug dealers and the dismantling of lines.

The message encourages anyone who wants help to beat substance misuse to contact Open Road, a charity that supports people with drug and alcohol addiction. It will include a link and contact number for the charity, which supports people across the county.

This forms part of an overall approach by the V&V Partnership, recognising the wider impacts of dismantling a county line, and includes additional interventions to complement the messages sent, to actively engage with drug users at a time they are most vulnerable.

Essex County Councillor Louise McKinlay, speaking on behalf of the V&V Partnership, said: “If we manage to reach even just one person so they seek help and support, then this is so worthwhile. Drugs have such a destructive force on our young people and our communities.  

“Within the Violence and Vulnerability Partnership we recognise that there are many vulnerable young people and adults who are being criminally exploited and we need them to understand that you don’t have to stay on the same path. For some people this could be a real lifeline; to let them know there is a way out.”