three teenages, one smoking, two drinkingEssex Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service (EYPDAS) is our oldest substance misuse project programme. Established in 1984, the project has been the main provider of young people’s substance misuse services for Essex County Council for over a decade.

'I am proud of the work we carry out', says deputy project manager Mark Munday. 'The young people that come to us are often at their lowest ebb, and by offering them a tailored service that meets their individual needs, we are able to help them turn their lives around.'

EYPDAS provides a wide array of services to meet Essex County Council’s needs and improve children and young people’s lives. These include:

  • counselling for young people who misuse substances
  • supporting young people with substance misuse issues in the criminal justice system
  • a dedicated outreach programme which generates awareness and helps to prevent children and young people abusing drugs and alcohol
  • a helpline and drop-in centre which young people and their families can use for advice and needle exchange.

Children and young people's needs and desires are at the heart of everything EYPDAS does. 'Young people are part of our decisions – including the co-design of treatment and input into what kind of leaflets and posters we put out to engage young people', says Mark. 'We have a youth forum, which is always consulted. Listening to what young people need and want means we can provide the best possible service for them, and help them improve their lives.'

'We provide a comprehensive service that is making life better for young people affected by substance misuse.'

'EYPDAS provides high quality services across Essex. They are approachable and are flexible in thinking about how to deliver services to meet our needs. We needed an organisation that could work closely with others to provide universal, targeted and specialist services to help improve young substance abusers’ lives, and they provide that. I hope we continue to work closely together to improve services for children, young people and families across Essex.'
Sally Hills, Young People's Substance Misuse Commissioner, Essex County Council

'EYPDAS has basically taken me off the streets, away from all the criminals, drug users and abusers and given me time to reflect on what I have done in my life and what I want in life. And that is to help other young people.'
EYPDAS service user

'The whole EYPDAS team supports you and they are all friendly, non-judgemental and appreciative.'
EYPDAS service user

'One of the best things about the service is that they see you where you feel most comfortable whether it’s at a relative’s house or in a park. It is really flexible. This is good because it can get you away from an environment where something may be affecting you in a negative way. If you have trouble remembering when your appointments are they can text you to let you know. They motivate you to get up for your session and do not give up on you, which impacts positively on the relationship because it shows someone cares.'
EYPDAS service user