THE charity behind plans to bring a national drug rehab centre to Saltcoats has this week shed more light on how the facility will benefit the Three Towns and beyond.

As revealed in the Herald earlier this month, Phoenix Futures has taken over the former Seabank care home on Canal Street and aims to open the dedicated service for families affected by a parent’s mental health, drug and alcohol problems this summer following renovation of the building.

The new facility is expected to create around 30 jobs, with many being advertised already, and up to 20 families will be supported at a time.

Lyndsey Wilson-Hague, head of operations for Phoenix Futures in Scotland, said: “The new national family service on Canal Street will support families affected by substance use and mental health problems.

"It will be staffed 24/7 offering specialist support for new parents and their young children, who are mostly babies or toddlers.

“Early years interventions such as our new service have proven to be highly-effective in preventing future harm.

READ MORE: Drug rehab centre confirmed for former Saltcoats nursing home

“This in turn helps parents maintain their recovery from past drug and/or alcohol use, improve their mental health and wellbeing and develop their parenting skills.

“Lack of adequate childcare can be a huge barrier for people seeking help with their mental health and substance use.

“Mental health problems and addiction can be incredibly isolating.

"It’s something that no one wants to talk about because there is still such a stigma to substance use and mental health, especially for parents.”

Lyndsey also noted the importance of “people first” language and using the correct terminology.

She said: “For example, we would say ‘a person who is currently using drugs’, rather than ‘drug user.’

"We always aim to use sensitive recovery-focused language, being careful not to disempower or victimise people seeking help for drug and alcohol use or their mental health.

“So, we avoid using language that attributes blame such as ‘battling addiction’, ‘fighting addiction’ - which can imply there are winners and losers and that people still in active addiction are not ‘fighting hard enough’.”

With North Ayrshire among the worst-hit areas for drug death rates in Scotland, any steps to help alleviate the problem would be welcome - but concerns have been raised locally over a lack of consultation on plans for the new centre.

Lyndsey added: “Phoenix Futures has a strong track record in supporting the communities in which it operates and we look forward to talking with local residents to help more people to understand what we do.”