DROP-IN sessions are being launched in Derwentside to give help to people with drug and drink problems.

The sessions will give people support, and help and advice in seeking treatment.

Suzanne Forster, social services community development worker for the district, said there was a gap in services, particularly for people who did not have a GP.

"A lot of people don't have a GP, particularly if they have just moved from outside the area. I can help with getting a GP and direct them to services and direct them into various treatments," she said.

"The drop-in is really for guidance and for me to assess what would be the most appropriate treatment in the first stage.

"I am looking at trying to sustain the project by possibly recruiting volunteers and working in partnership with other agencies."

One session is already up and running, on Mondays between 10am and noon at South Moor Boys Club.

Another starts on Friday and will be held weekly at the Burnside Resource Centre, in South Stanley, between 9.30am and noon.

A third is aimed at young people aged 13 and over and will be held on Fridays starting this week between 6pm and 8.30pm, at Dipton Hut.

Leaflets about sexual health clinics will also be available.

The session will concentrate more on alcohol problems than drug use.

The project has Communities Against Drugs funding from the Durham Drug Action Team for a year.