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Alcohol and Substance Misuse Harm Reduction

Why this is a priority objective

Alcohol and substance misuse contribute to a significant proportion of crime and anti-social behaviour, especially violent crime, and is a cross-cutting theme in the Sustainable Community Strategy.

Alcohol is a contributory factor in many incidents of domestic abuse and sexual violence and has strong links to child sexual exploitation in the county. It is also a significant factor in child neglect and child protection. Alcohol consumption plays a substantial part in homicides and domestic homicides in County Durham. Alcohol misuse causes harm to people's health, mental health and can impact on the ability of individuals to access or sustain employment.

Drug misuse is a serious issue not only to the health and wellbeing of the individual that is affected by it, but that of their families and the wider community. Tackling drug misuse requires a co-ordinated approach involving a whole range of partners. It is not just the responsibility of organisations however; individuals and the wider community all have a role to play in reducing and preventing drug misuse.

Our outcomes are to:

  • Reduce the harm caused to communities by tackling alcohol-related crime and disorder and vulnerability
  • Reduce the harm caused by drugs / substances - through prevention, restricting supply and building recovery