Alcohol and drug use
In some cases the specialist deaf mental health services may be able to offer support. A lot of people get support from groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Here people support each other by talking about their battle against addiction and encourage others to stay sober or clean.
Unfortunately, because these groups operate by talking, they can be difficult for deaf people to access. However, a number of AA groups now provide facilities for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Deaf AA group
There is one Deaf AA group in London which meets every week. British Sign Language users meet at 7.30pm every Friday evening in Room 3. This is a small group so that BSL users can have an AA meeting in their primary language.
The Methodist Church, 19 Hinde Street, W1U 2BD from 7.30 to 8.30pm on Fridays.
Tea and coffeee are available. The building is non-smoking.
How to find it
By road: go down Marylebone High Street and its on the left, at the corner of Thayer Street.
By bus: any bus that goes down Oxford Street and stops outside Bond Street tube station or outside Selfridges Store.
By tube: Bond Street.
Contact Bernard for further help text 07835351918 or email bernardodonohue [a t] hotmail.com
Another group is run which has a BSL/English interpreter. This is at The Hinsley Rooms, Morpeth Avenue, behind Westminster Cathedral, Victoria SW1 on Tuesdays at 8pm.
Hard of hearing groups
The following AA meetings have "facilities for Deaf/hard of hearing". These details were correct in February 2007, but may have changed. These groups will probably have a loop, but will not have an interpreter or full communication support. Use the Alcoholics Anonymous website to find your local meetings.
Beckenham Wednesday 1945 St Edmund's Church Hall, Village Way, opp Sainsbury's Car Park bh BR3
Bury St Edmunds Saturday 1800 Odd-Fellows Hall, 85 Whiting Street, IP33 1NX h IP33
Bury St Edmunds Sunday 1900 Odd-Fellows Hall, 85 Whiting Street, IP33 1NX oeh IP33
Ilford Tuesday 1930 Lithuanian Speaking - St Peter & St Paul's Parish Centre, 342 High Road, Ilford
Ilford Thursday 2000 Lithuanian Speaking - St Peter & St Paul's Parish Centre, 342 High Road, Ilford
Sandbach Monday 2000 St Winifred's RC Church, Middlewich Road, CW11 1HU he CW11
Sandbach Saturday 2000 St. Peters Church Hall, School Lane, Elworth he CW11
Seaton Sunday 2000 Seaton Methodist Church, Scalwell Lane ehf EX12
Weston-Super-Mare Wednesday 1900 Christian Fellowship Church Hall, Stafford Road, BS23 3BS owbeh BS23
Wolverhampton Tuesday 1100 Darlington Street Methodist Church, 24 School Street eh WV1
Wolverhampton Thursday 1100 Darlington Street Methodist Church, 24 School Street eh WV1
If you want support with alcohol or drug use then your GP is the best person to contact. They can then support you and refer you to the most appropriate services.
It has been recognised that drug and alcohol services fof deaf people are not good enough. The Government's Central Office for Information published a report in 2004 that highlighted many of the gaps in services - especially prevention - for deaf people. Drug Misuse and People with Hearing Impairment (MS Word file) looked at the research and made recommendations for further work.
Alcohol Concern and Drugscope have published useful guidance on Drug education for young deaf people. This briefly describes some of the problems faced by young deaf people. It also describes the challenges that professionals face in working with young deaf people.
There has also been some academic research into the prevalence on alcohol use among deaf people who have a mental health problem. Among their findings was the lack of appropriate early intervention services. The paper can be downloaded here.