Illegal drugs - a national issue, a local problem

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Last night’s episode of  ‘999 What’s Your Emergency?’ explored the issues of illegal drugs.

It also focussed on cuckooing, which refers to criminal gangs who target vulnerable people living in housing association and council accommodation by befriending them and then taking over their homes to deal drugs. The occupants of the home, who are often vulnerable drug users themselves, sometimes with mental health issues, are told their families will be harmed if they call the police.

We work in partnership with local authorities and support agencies to try and engage with and help those affected by illegal drugs and the associated criminality.

Alongside our partners, we encourage anyone affected to seek help and support about these issues.

Detective Inspector Paul Franklin, from the Dedicated Crime Team at Wiltshire Police, whose role is to combat the threat posed by drug gangs, said: “Although Wiltshire is one of the safest counties in the country, we are targeting drug supply in the area every day, and will not tolerate dangerous drug networks who come to our county from metropolitan cities in the belief that Wiltshire is a soft touch.

“If  you are coming to our county with the sole purpose of selling drugs, you will be arrested. This type of behaviour can have a really negative impact on local communities and we are determined to stamp it out.

“We are working extremely hard to disrupt these gangs and will continue to work closely with partner agencies to protect the county’s most vulnerable people from being cuckooed and ensure they are provided with the support they require.”

Swindon Borough Council said: " Swindon Drug and Alcohol Service provided by CGL (Change Grow Live ) has not observed a large increase in the number of individuals accessing the service for crack and heroin.  We welcome the reduction in the number of drug related deaths in Swindon and we have been working hard to try and reduce the risk and harm caused by drug misuse.  We are paying particular focus on the number of individuals who have mental health and substance misuse problems as they can be at  particular risk of drug related deaths.  The Substance Misuse Service and Mental Health Service are working closely together to improve the support given to these individuals.  Anyone requiring support with substance misuse issues can contact Swindon Drug and Alcohol Service provided by CGL on 01793 611870.”

If you've been affected by anything featured in last night’s episode, please don't suffer in silence. There is help out there from a number of health and voluntary agencies, details are included below.

Substance misuse

There are specialist services available for anyone who is experiencing problems with their use of alcohol and or drugs and those who are affected by it.

These services are based in the community and are free and confidential. The services are designed to help people get back on their feet by addressing their issues and helping them to make lasting, positive life changes. There is no time limit on the support and treatment on offer and the service’s aims are to be a stepping stone to a healthier life with more opportunities.

To find out more about the services available and how you, or someone you know, can be helped, contact Wiltshire Substance Misuse Service on 01225 718980.


Motiv8 is a service for young people who need help with substance misuse:

Motiv8 can help by supporting young people aged 17 and under who are using drugs and/or alcohol. Call 0800 169 6136 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm, if you feel that you need emergency help phone 999 and/or call your doctor.

Turning Point

This substance misuse service aims to help and support people to think about drug and/or alcohol use and they changes they’d like to make.  They help you put together an action plan.

Turning Point offers a range of treatment pathways which includes a group programme, counselling, motivational enhancement therapy, a needle and syringe exchange, prescribing clinics, out of hours clinics, wellbeing clinics, recovery coordination, BBV testing, nurse wellbeing clinics, family work, housing advice and referral.

If you are worried about your or someone else’s substance misuse, call Turning Point on one of these numbers: Trowbridge Hub: 01225 718980, Salisbury Hub: 01722 343000, Chippenham Hub: 01249 440270 and out of hours: 0345 6036993.

Talk to Frank

If you need friendly, confidential help, you can talk to Frank. Visit call 0300 123 6600 or text 82111.


If you want to talk to a specialist about a family member who is using drugs and/or alcohol, call ADFAM on 0207 553 7640 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Change, grow, live (CGL)

Swindon Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service offers the community in Swindon a pathway to recovery for adults seeking support around their drug and/or alcohol use.
You can call us on 01793 611870 or email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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