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New course to tackle drinking problems in Dorset
DRINKERS have taken the first of new courses after being arrested for alcohol related offences in Dorset.
They attended the first half day educational course as part of the new Alcohol Diversion Scheme.
It was aimed at offenders issued with Penalty Notices for Disorder (PNDs) for such alcohol related offences as being drunk and disorderly.
Course trainer Richard Pearce said: “The course was emotionally charged with a lot of tears and some eye opening admissions with no punches being pulled.
“All attendees gave honest feedback which greatly enhanced the session.
“One alcoholic divulged that he has two months to get his life back on track or he will not be able to give his daughter away at her wedding. “
During the discussion, one of the students also shared information in graphic detail about one of his friends who had died recently from choking on his own vomit.
“This was a real eye opener for those who deny they have a drink problem, or believe that alcohol is not an issue.”
Mr Pearce added: “We do not want the course to be a weak alternative to escaping the legal system.
“It is a serious poke between the eyes getting the small minority who spoil the weekend for others to understand that their selfish actions are not acceptable.”
The scheme is also for those issued with PNDs for crimes where alcohol was a contributory factor, such as public order offences, low-level thefts and criminal damage.
Courses cost £40 and once satisfactorily completed, the PND will be cancelled.
The course covers a number of subjects relating to alcohol, including health management, consequences and ways forward for individuals to address their problems.
Nine individuals attended the first course, two of whom were waiting to attend detox units.
All were reminded that attendance is an admission that their behaviour on the night of the incident was inappropriate.
Two of the students were brought into the session by concerned parents who said they were relieved that the authorities were working together not only targeting inappropriate behaviour, but also educating and challenging it.
The scheme is being trialled by Dorset Police, in partnership with local authorities, and is run by the registered charity Druglink.
The next educational course is planned for early November.
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