What we do and who we are

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Who is SWITCH for?

Individuals who have any one or more of these problems:

  • Experiencing problems as a result of alcohol, drug or solvent use
  • Having problems stopping or cutting down their alcohol, drug or solvent use
  • Needing to use alcohol, drugs or solvents to feel 'normal'
  • Needing to take drugs to get through the day Injecting drugs
  • Spending most of their time drinking, taking drugs or trying to get hold of them.

How does SWITCH work?

  • Young people can be referred to SWITCH by anyone - professionals, parents, carers or even the young person themselves
  • A choice of appointment, time and place will be discussed
  • Confidentiality is explained and agreed on the first appointment
  • A keyworker will be allocated
  • Individual care plan will be agreed
  • Everything will be discussed, planned and agreed with the young person

What is expected from the young person?

  • That they attend SWITCH appointments
  • That they want to find out about, change or stop their alcohol, drug or solvent use

SWITCH can offer:

  • Alcohol, drug and solvent misuse advice and information on how to stop using, reduce use and minimise the risks
  • Positive activities linked to other young peoples services (for example, Click to Do Youth Service)
  • Forums where parents/carers can talk to other parents/carers with similar concerns  
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Chlamydia testing
  • C Card [external link] 
  • Other general health care needs can be facilitated through the service such as needle exchange, substitute prescribing and vaccinations

Support and Advice

SWITCH work closely with other services who offer support for young people who are at risk of having difficulties with substance misuse, it also offers support for their parents and carers if appropriate.

Multi-agency working ensures that individuals are provided services to meet their needs.

Other services can be contacted for advice, information and support around alcohol, drug and solvent use

The SWITCH team consists of

A Substance Misuse Worker who encourages and supports young people to cut down on their drug and/or alcohol use. The substance misuse worker tries to make Switch a fun and enjoyable environment to try new and exciting things; working with individuals and groups as well as at schools and in Youth Clubs.

Youth Offending Throughcare Worker who works with young people, mainly in the Youth Offending system, who are having difficulty with drugs or alcohol. Their aim is to listen, give advice and support and also encourage and help young people to stop or reduce their use through one to one work or group activities.

Social Worker who listens, advises and supports young people through one to one work or group activities to encourage them to cut down on their drug and/or alcohol use.

Manager working with the team to make sure that things run smoothly.

An Admin Assistant working in the office and assisting the team, providing administrative support and managing the day to day running of the office.

Volunteer Receptionists who will often be the first to greet you when visiting Switch. They also provide day to day general administrative and clerical support to the team.

Useful links

  • Balance [external link] - Balance is the North East's alcohol office, seeking to inspire changes in the way we think about and drink alcohol.
  • NECA [external link] - This service is available to all those over the age of 18 who live in Darlington or are registered with a Darlington GP, who are experiencing problems with Drug and Alcohol misuse.
  • Re-Solv [external link] - National charity dedicated to the prevention of solvent and volatile substance abuse (VSA).
  • Talk to Frank [external link] - Frank provides a 24 hour confidential service for people seeking advice or information about drugs

Substance misuse referral form

Substance misuse referral form for professionals [online form, opens in a new window]