An alcohol support charity has launched a new service aimed at tackling some of the health inequalities faced by people in West Dunbartonshire.

Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol (DACA) is working in partnership with two specialist health therapists to deliver a range of treatments and therapies aimed at reducing stress, improving coping abilities and health literacy.

Mags Mackenzie, DACA chief executive, said: “DACA ran an extremely successful project back in the 1990s which was ground-breaking at the time as complementary therapies were not common practice in drug and alcohol services.

“That has changed over the years and many service providers recognise the benefits of taking a holistic, whole person approach. In the past we have run health and wellbeing clinics as part of other projects but haven’t been able to offer such a comprehensive level of support as our new Steps to Wellbeing service now does."

DACA’s ‘Steps to Wellbeing’ service will be launched internally from January 24 and will be open to referrals from the wider community the following month.

The organisation be piloting the service a year in order to give them the opportunity to fully evaluate what impact it has on people accessing the service.

Mags added: “There is a growing body of evidence that alcohol has a much more serious impact on people living in deprived communities – like West Dunbartonshire - but there isn’t a clear understanding as to why this happens.

“Research suggests that poverty reduces resilience to disease and predisposes drinkers from poorer communities to greater health harms.

“We know from projects we have run in the past that complementary therapies do have a positive impact on the drinking outcomes of people accessing support with us. What we are keen to understand now is why this happens and can this holistic approach improve our clients’ overall wellness."