Medi Vend

The Drugs Box - Case Study

Tameside Council


Branching Out is Tameside and Glossop's under 19's drug and alcohol service. We work with young people who are using or at risk of using drugs and alcohol to provide harm reduction focused advice, support and targeted interventions. We also support the parents and carers of substance users.



Branching Out has two interactive drug boxes, one of which was purchased by the Ashton Healthy Living Project and the second, funded through a one off grant from the local PCT.  We have set up a loan system so that the boxes can be used by local organisations in settings accessed by young people and community members.

The Drugs Box® is promoted through local networks and community newsletters, agencies book the drug box for use on specific dates and attend a brief information session on how to use the resource, they return the drugs box at the end of their loan and provide us with feedback on how useful they feel the resource  was.  Agencies  have  used  the  boxes  as  part  of  a structured input with groups or as a standalone information point at community events.

Being  able to offer the use of The Drugs Box® enhances  the capacity of Branching Out as we are able to have a presence at events that the service is not able to attend. The resource allows quick and easy access to drugs information which is credible and unthreatening to users; because the box tracks the information that is accessed it enables Branching Out to feed data into service improvement and report back to commissioning on findings.

The opportunity to offer the use of the drug / alcohol box to partner agencies has allowed Branching Out to enhance their partnership links and be responsive to requests for appropriate input from the service.



Some examples of us of The Drugs Boxes so far are:



    Community Safety Fun Day: The boxes were used on an information stand at the event which was attended by several hundred local residents. Young people and parents who attended the day used the resource independently and with the assistance of staff, the resource prompted a number of discussions about people’s concerns about drugs and alcohol in their local area.



    Secondary School: The orange box was used in the inclusion unit of a local secondary school. Pupils used the box to complete individual work under the guidance of school staff.



    Housing: The Drugs Box® was used to run an information session for adult residents within a supported housing project.

Comments from the young people and staff who have used The Drugs Box® at Branching Out: Q. Did you find The Drugs Box easy to use?

“No Problems at all, really enjoying looking through all the information about drugs” “Easy to set up and use”

“Set up easy. Group comfortable using with minimal supervision” “Yes.  Young people could easily move through the sections”

“Very user friendly”

“Once set up it was very useful and easy to use” “Interactive and full of information”



Responses from Staff conducting sessions with The Drugs Box® and young people Q. How useful was The Drug Box® as a resource for the session it was used for? “Created discussion in a very positive way”

“We are currently doing a drugs project so it came in handy for giving information relevant to the young people”



Enabled young people to get answers to all the questions they raised in the session”



“Excellent tool for engaging and stimulating the young people into finding out information about drugs”



“Young people very keen to use the box and found the quizzes interesting.  All requested that they can use the box again next week”



“The entire group engaged very well when using the drug box in the session, either individually or in pairs - encouraged partnership working, also informing knowledge and risks”



“Final session, all young people keen to complete the quizzes and all the questions correct.  Gave

Branching Out key rings as rewards and discussed the services offered by Branching Out”



“We have many members from local groups and residents who are very keen to book out to use

The Drugs Box® at their own services”



Written by Emma Hawley, Branching Out Manager



Number 31 Clarence Arcade

Stamford Street Ashton-Under-Lyne Tameside



14, Feb, 2011
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