Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man drug service loses funding

Funding is to be withdrawn from an "under-used" charity drug helpline, the Isle of Man government has announced.

Service providers at the Drug Advice Support & Helpline (DASH) are "shocked" at the decision to withdraw more than £100,000 of support.

DASH, established in 1996, provides a confidential help line, counselling and drugs education for Manx schools.

However, the government is expected to continue its support of the DASH help line by providing a grant.

"[But] funding will be withdrawn for these under-used services from the end of August," a social care spokesman said.

"The activity levels for both the Adult and Young Persons components of DASH have been far lower than anticipated".

'Business as usual'

It is thought the government will now attempt to establish an alternative drug service for the island.

"The revised model will focus on cost effectiveness and expand the nature of service delivery which will result in more people accessing support," said the government.

Shelly Stanley, director of DASH, said she was "shocked" at the decision because the island-based service had a proven track record of success.

"Around 70% of users leave our service drug-free, however we would like to assure the community and clients that it's business as usual whilst we consider our options," she said.

Social care minister Chris Robertshaw said: "This development is an example of the department's commitment to the Island's Drug and Alcohol Strategy and to wider fiscal challenges and responsibilities.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank DASH for all their hard work on behalf of the department and wish them well for the future."

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