PEOPLE SUFFERING ADDICTIONS in Moray could have nowhere to seek assistance when a local charity who has helped over 4000 people over its 34 years is forced to close later this year.
Moray Council on Addiction (MCA) had vital funding provided by Moray Council and NHS Grampian withdrawn three years ago – now volunteers say a lack of resources leaves them little choice but to close their doors on the 30 people currently receiving their help.
However, Moray Council insist that people with drug and alcohol dependencies will still be able to obtain help from the national charity Quarriers – who set up a new base in Elgin this week.
MCA director Lynn Geddes said that while that was welcome, Quarriers would not be offering the therapy and counselling service that addressed the cause of addiction issues – and that the closure of her group would mean no local help being made available.
She said: “Alcohol is Moray’s biggest problem and we offer clients counselling to help them address why they drink.
“It will not be long before Moray Council and the NHS notice the ripple effect caused by our closure. We are the only agency in the north of Scotland that treats gambling addicts – and people from all over visit us for counselling.
“It is a growing problem and I have no idea what might happen to them now.”
A private bequest has allowed MCA to survive since the withdrawal of £60,000 funding from NHS Grampian and Moray Council – but that cash has now been used.
A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “Funding was withdrawn due to a change in our national and local strategic direction. We provide services for people affected by drug and alcohol use in Moray – and the numbers of those requiring support are decreasing year on year.”
Moray Council meanwhile say that the MCA counselling service was closed following a review of the contract in 2012. A spokesman added: “After a tender process the new provider, Quarriers, has opened its drug and alcohol service in Moray.”
MCA received a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service just a year after Moray Council and NHS Grampian withdrew their funding.
The charity say they will continue accepting clients until September 14 but will close in November. Details on the range of services they offer can be found at http://www.morayaddiction.org