THE tranquility of the Yorkshire Dales may paint a very different picture - but the towns and villages across our region are not immune from the societal pressures that affect other parts of the country and drug and alcohol misuse is just as relevant an issue here as in urban areas.
Hayley Peacock with a needle exchange bin
One local authority has now taken the first step towards a new service to offer drug and alcohol support and advice in the Hambleton area of the Northern Yorkshire Dales.
Building on a successful scheme operating in Northallerton, a substance misuse worker has been appointed to look after Thirsk and the surrounding rural villages.
Hayley Peacock will work alongside the already well established Northallerton service provided by the Hambleton and Richmondshire Community Addiction Service (HARCAS) to provide help for users and their families.
Funded by the Hambleton Community Safety Partnership Haley's new role will see her establish a 'support network' for the Thirsk area - providing information, advice and support.
Hayley takes up her new role having already gained experience of this type of work through jobs within the magistrates courts, prison service and a community based project.
"This is a very exciting new role for the partnership - at the moment there is no dedicated alcohol and drug service in Thirsk," she said.
This is a very exciting new role for the partnership - at the moment there is no dedicated alcohol and drug service in Thirsk
Hayley Peacock - Drugs worker
"I am working to identify the needs of the area and liaising with other agencies to establish some joint working arrangements. My past work experiences have given me a good insight into addictions of all types - how they affect the individuals, people close to them and the community as a whole."
Hayley is aiming to see alcohol and drug assessments set up to identify individual needs; one to one support and information groups established; and a needle exchange service created.
She then hopes a drop in facility and a number of support groups can be set up around the town.