SWANSEA DRUGS PROJECT REDUCING DRUG & ALCOHOL HARM
NEWSLETTER SAND Paper No: 1 During its 26 years of offering services to those affected by the misuse of substances in Swansea, the Project has seen many changes. Unfortunately the nature and size of the problem in Swansea, like in many comparable cities across the UK, has increased dramatically. The need for the services of the Project is greater today, than ever in its history. The Project continues to develop, change and expand to meet the needs of our service users, and with the aid of this newsletter, we aim to keep all our partners informed of our services and any new developments at the Project. Last year the Welsh Assembly launched its 10 year substance misuse strategy, Working Together To Reduce Harm, which clearly highlights the importance of partnership working in relation to substance misuse.The needs of substance misusers and their families can not be met by one single agency, and requires a multi agency approach and partnership working. The Swansea Drugs Project recognises the value of working with others to offer the best care and services and has over the years developed strong and effective partnerships. We are committed to working hand in hand with other statutory and third sector agencies, and to develop new partnerships and strengthen existing ones. We hope that producing a biannual news letter, can help us keep partners informed and share developments in the substance misuse field. The coming year looks like being yet another busy year for the Project, with many changes and new developments. Without doubt the main development this year, will be the opening of our new premises. Having been based for nearly 25 years in cramped and unsuitable
FIRST EDITION: FEBRUARY 2009
premises in Calvert Terrace Swansea, the Project will be moving later this year to our new building on Mansel Street.Thanks to a substantial grant from the Welsh Assembly Government, the Project has been able to purchase and renovate the old British Legion premises located on Mansel Street, Swansea. When we move into the new premises later this year, it will be to a building that offers more space, resources, and the opportunity to develop new services and expand partnership working. It will also mean that we can increase our opening hours to include evening and weekend opening. We hope to see a building that offers a comprehensive range of services delivered by a variety of agencies. Ifor Glyn, Director. Swansea Drugs Project
The Swansea Drugs Project recognises and appreciates the support it receives from its funders:
Welsh Assembly Government Swansea SMAT Supporting People Cymorth Children in Need Comic Relief Lloyds TSB Foundation
NEW HOME FOR SWANSEA DRUGS PROJECT
Inside this issue: INTRODUCTION
WHAT IS HARM REDUCTION? 4 COMMUNITY SERVICES
MEET THE STAFF
SWANSEA DRUGS PROJECT REDUCING DRUG & ALCOHOL HARM
NEWSLETTER FEB09 Taking Our Services into the Community During the past few months the Project has been working to increase our services outside of our base in the city centre. Our goal is to make our services as accessible and available to as many people as possible. We recognize that for some, especially for those with young families or have disabilities, it may be difficult to visit the Project. For that reason we are steadily increasing the amount of outreach work we undertake in the community, be that on a formal or informal basis. The Project has a long history of providing an
outreach service on various city housing estates and at various events held in the county. At one point the Project delivered its services from a mobile bus which was used successfully at various locations. Unfortunately the funding to carry out this work came to an end.
basis at the Big Issue, Zacâ€™s Place and Cyrenians. For times and venues please contact Gill Swanson on 01792 472002 We are eager to expand this provision and welcome any ideas or suggestions.
New Swansea SMAT commissioning arrangements enable agencies like ourselves to have some freedom and creativity in the way we develop and deliver our services, and which will enable us to engage with as many individuals as possible. Currently the Project offers regular community clinics in Pontarddulais, Clase and Port Tennant, with Project workers also attending on a weekly
ALCOHOL The Swansea Drugs Project welcomes the fact that the Welsh Assembly Government has in its new 10 year strategy highlighted the need to increase and improve services to those affected by alcohol. The Project has for many years seen the devastating effect alcohol can have upon individuals, their families and carers, and the wider community. It is clear that alcohol can cause as much damage as any other illegal drug, and agencies like
SERVICES FOR CARERS Dealing with the problems drugs and alcohol can cause is one of the hardest things for a family to do. For this reason, the Project set up a Family Support Group which meets on a weekly basis on a Thursday evening. All too often there is very little support for those affected by somebody elseâ€™s use of drugs or alcohol, and the fact that this group has been so successful has been
ourselves need to adapt and change to meet the needs of ALL substance misusers. The Project is continually investing in increasing staff skills and knowledge about working with alcohol users, and all staff receive external alcohol training, in particular working with individuals who may not want to, or cannot abstain completely at the moment. It is our intention to develop a centre of expertise in offering alcohol harm reduction work, and are currently organising a
testimony to the need for this kind of service. The group is facilitated by a member of the Project's staff and a volunteer, who set up the service following advice and support from the Swansea Carer's Centre. In the twelve months that the service has been going, the group has seen over 45 individuals. The group is very informal and relaxed and can offer support to parents, partners, carers and
conference on this issue, attracting leading experts in the field from Europe, Ireland and all over the UK. As with all our Harm Reduction Conferences, our aim is to bring quality speakers to South Wales, and offer cheap delegate fees. We are grateful to WAG & SMAT in supporting us in achieving this. There are limited spaces left for the conference on February 25th Please contact Syd Howells to check availability on 01792 472002
children of those misusing. The group is there to offer support and advice, is non judgemental and can address some of the concerns and worries carers may have. Further details: Sian Bengeyfield 01792 472002
SWANSEA DRUGS PROJECT REDUCING DRUG & ALCOHOL HARM
NEWSLETTER FEB09 Staff and Volunteers Like most agencies, the Project is only as good as its staff, and we are fortunate to have a team that is dedicated to improve the lives of those affected by substance misuse. The team is a multi disciplinary team comprising of individuals from varying backgrounds and experience including social workers, probation worker, teacher, nursing, counsellors, and workers with experience in other health and social care profession. Staff are highly motivated, and receive regular external and internal training, and all staff receive external clinical supervision.
APPOINTMENTS NOT ALWAYS NECESSARY One of the Project’s main aims is to ensure that our services are accessible and available as quickly as possible. We recognize that when somebody has made a decision to stop or change their use of drugs or alcohol, it is important that they are able to access help as easy as possible. One of the most important services that we offer is without doubt our open access service. This is currently open Monday to Friday where individuals can attend and be seen by a worker, for assessment, help with benefits, housing ,
The Project currently employs 25 full time members of staff. The Project also has a small core of dedicated volunteers
ADAM WHITEHOUSE is a former volunteer at the Project and was previously employed by the Project as a temporary Project Support Worker.
New Staff Members During the past month the Project has employed two new workers. PAULINE UPTON. Until recently Pauline was a highly respected manager with WGCADA, and comes to us with many years of working in the field. Pauline has an interest in mental health and substance misuse.
Adam was previously employed by Hywel Dda NHS Trust working with people with learning disabilities
advice and information and with any crisis. The agency works in close partnership with other agencies which may have waiting list, and is able to offer support while individuals wait to be seen by another service. The Project also offers gender specific sessions, men's sessions on a Wednesday morning, and women's session on Thursday mornings. For more details on the Project’s Open Access Service contact John Frith 01792 472002
Overdose Information There have been an alarming number of drug related deaths in the city over the past few years, and like other agencies, the Project has been trying to raise awareness and knowledge amongst service users and other professionals of the risks, and ways to respond. The main causes of overdose are:
*Using opiates when tolerance is low. Individuals are at risk when they have not been using for a short spell, leaving prison etc. SIGNS OF OVERDOSE If you can’t wake them or they are showing other signs of unconsciousness such as : *Snoring deeply
*Injecting drugs is far more likely to lead to overdose than smoking them.
* Mixing drugs with alcohol or downers such as diazepam or temazepam.
CALL AN AMBULANCE
It is essential that we all reinforce the need that if somebody suspects that an individual has overdosed, that calling an ambulance is a priority. The Project will shortly be involved with a WAG sponsored project that will offer Naloxone (heroin antidote) to service users and offer free resuscitation classes to users, their families and carers. The Project has produced Overdose Prevention cards which can be collected from the agency.
HARM REDUCTION The Swansea Drugs Project is a harm reduction agency, that is willing to work with service users even if they don't want to, or are currently unable to abstain from alcohol or drug misuse. We work with often the most chaotic users, and try not to have many restrictions or hurdles that will stop them from engaging with the service. It is only through engaging with the service that we can work with them to minimize any damage, and hopefully lead to a more fulfilling lifestyle. We support our service users towards changing their use and towards abstinence if that is their goal.
The term harm reduction was adopted in the 1980’s to describe the activities of services that were developed in response to HIV amongst injecting drug users, and has since been expanded to include hepatitis B and C. Harm reduction significantly differs from strategies aimed at a complete abstinence, which undoubtedly have a place - but often only for those people who are already strongly motivated to give up drugs.
Harm reduction has a hierarchy of goals priorities have to be established for effective targeting of resources. Because of the risks of an HIV / Hepatitis C epidemic to individuals and society, the hierarchy of goals for the UK has, since 1988, been to : a) Reduce the sharing of injecting equipment, b) Reduce the incidence of injecting, c) Reduce the use of street drugs d) Reduce the use of prescribed drugs, e) Increase abstinence.
Swansea Drugs Project: 8 Calvert Terrace, Swansea, SA1 6AR. Tel: (01792) 472002 • Email: email@example.com www.swanseadrugsproject.org.uk • Fax: (01792) 472004
CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE: www.swanseadrugsproject.org.uk Our Services
✪ Carers Group
✪ Open Access Service
✪ Family work
✪ Advice & Information
✪ Needle Exchange
✪ Health Promotion
✪ Structured Counselling ✪ Care Management
✪ Telephone Helpline ✪ Community Clinics Would you like more information about the Swansea Drugs Project ?
✪ Joint Work ✪ Benefits & Housing ✪ Specialist service for under
Would you like somebody to attend your team meeting to explain more about Swansea Drugs Project?
18 year olds
✪ Complimentary Therapies ✪ Group Work ✪ Outreach ✪ Tenancy Support
Do you want more information about the effects of certain drugs? Do you need support with a service user that you are working with?
If so please get in touch and we will do all that we can to help.
REDUCING DRUG & ALCOHOL HARM
8 Calvert Terrace, Swansea, SA1 6AR. Tel: (01792) 472002 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.swanseadrugsproject.org.uk • Fax: (01792) 472004 Registered Charity No: 517326