What's Happening? - GDAS - Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service

Welcome to our weekly report on emerging substances in Gwent. This report is brought to you by our harm reduction specialist, Gareth, and is based on data gathered by Wedinos, a substance testing service. Our aim is to keep you informed about the substances found in locally purchased items, so you can make safer choices and reduce harm.

At GDAS, we understand the importance of staying vigilant in the face of emerging threats like Nitazenes. Drug testing services play a crucial role in safeguarding individuals and communities from the dangers of substance use.

Why Drug Testing Matters:

Drug testing isn't just about identifying substances in traditional samples. Even used drug paraphernalia can provide valuable insights into potential risks. With the rise of Nitazenes, every piece of information matters in protecting lives.

How You Can Help:

If you or someone you know has used drug paraphernalia, don't hesitate to bring it to your nearest GDAS base. Our team will handle it with care and send it off for testing, contributing to a safer environment for all.

Find Your Nearest GDAS Base:

Locate your nearest GDAS base using our interactive map. Simply enter your postcode to find the closest facility and take the first step towards promoting harm reduction and community support.

Nitazenes are synthetic opioids, known for their potent nature. They pose a significant risk of overdose, hospitalization, and even death. Since January 2023, WEDINOS received seven samples bought under the belief they were acquiring heroin. Testing confirmed they contained nitazene(s).

Reducing Harm:

  • Dose Low, Go Slow: Start with a small amount and gradually increase to minimize risks.
  • Avoid Mixing: Refrain from combining substances to reduce the risk of overdose.
  • Get Your Drugs Tested: Understand what you're taking by utilizing testing services.
  • Don't Use Alone: Always have a trusted companion present.
  • Buy from Someone You Know: Purchasing online may pose greater risks.
  • Don't Use at the Same Time: Take turns to ensure safety.

Recognising an Overdose:

Look out for signs like non-responsiveness, shallow breathing, pale and clammy skin, snoring, blue lips, and a low pulse.

Responding:

  • Place the person in the recovery position.
  • Dial 999 and request an ambulance; stay with the person.
  • Use Naloxone; multiple doses may be necessary.

Testing:

To find out what's in your drugs, testing is crucial. You don't have to provide a sample of your drugs; we can use your old paraphernalia, such as a used cooker or baggie. To get your drugs tested, take your old equipment or a sample to your nearest drug and alcohol service.

Your safety is paramount. Stay informed, stay safe. 

At the Women's Group, we understand the unique challenges and triumphs that women face every day. Whether you're seeking a listening ear, a helping hand, or simply want to share your experiences, our weekly gatherings at the Lighthouse in Pontypool are here for you.

Meeting Details

  • When: Every Thursday
  • Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Location: The Lighthouse, Pontypool

Our meetings provide a warm and welcoming environment where you can:

  • Share and Connect: Engage in open and honest conversations with women who understand and support your journey.
  • Learn and Grow: Participate in discussions, workshops, and activities aimed at personal and collective growth.
  • Celebrate Success: Recognize your achievements and those of your fellow group members, no matter how big or small.

Why Join Us?

  • Empowerment: Discover your inner strength, build confidence, and embrace your potential.
  • Community: Forge meaningful connections with like-minded women who are committed to your success.
  • Support: Lean on a network of individuals who genuinely care about your well-being and are there to support you through life's ups and downs.

Contact Us

For enquiries or additional information, please feel free to reach out to us on 01495 366 810

Smart Recovery Group

When: Every Monday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Where: Costar Community Hwb, 2 Fairwater Square, Cwmbran NP44 4TA (Entrance from the rear car park)

Refreshments Provided

Welcome to our Smart Recovery Group! If you're seeking a path to recovery and a brighter future, you've come to the right place. Our community is dedicated to supporting individuals on their journey toward a healthier and happier life.

Join us every Monday evening at Costar Community Hwb from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. During these sessions, you'll have the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and learn valuable strategies for achieving and maintaining sobriety.

As a special treat, we provide refreshments to keep you energized and engaged throughout the sessions.

Take the first step towards positive change, discover the strength within you, and know that you are not alone on this journey. We look forward to seeing you at our Smart Recovery Group meetings.

For more information or inquiries, please contact Sharon on 07746453670 or Linzi on 07585833948.

Overdose Awareness Day is a day to remember those we've lost to addiction, and it's essential to make it a day of reflection and community support. At GDAS, we understand the pain of addiction and overdose, and this year, on Overdose Awareness Day, we held a special event to honor and remember those we've lost. We opened our beautiful memorial garden at Powell's Place.

Overdose Awareness Day: A Time to Remember

Every August 31st, Overdose Awareness Day brings communities together to talk about overdose, break the stigma around addiction, and remember those who lost their lives. It's a day that reminds us of the urgent need to help people struggling with addiction and support their families.

The GDAS Memorial Garden: A Place for Comfort and Remembrance

Our memorial garden at Powell's Place is a calm and peaceful space. We created it to offer comfort and a chance to find closure for those affected by addiction and overdose.

Painting Pebbles: A Personal Tribute

At our grand opening event, we invited everyone to join us in painting pebbles. Each pebble had the name of a friend, family member, or loved one lost to addiction or overdose. Painting these pebbles was a way to honor them personally and share their memory with the community. Now, these colorful pebbles decorate our memorial garden, creating a touching and colorful tribute.

 

At GDAS, we are committed to providing support, education, and resources to individuals and communities dealing with substance use issues. Our mission is to promote harm reduction, save lives, and empower those in need. We recently had the incredible opportunity to participate in the Newport Pride event, where we were met with an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm and support for a vital tool in our arsenal: Naloxone.

Newport Pride: A Celebration of Diversity and Inclusivity

Newport Pride is an annual event that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community's diversity, resilience, and accomplishments. It's a momentous occasion that brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate love, acceptance, and equality. As an organization dedicated to inclusivity and support for all, we were honored to be part of this celebration. 

The Enthusiasm for Naloxone

What struck us the most at Newport Pride was the incredible enthusiasm and support for Naloxone. Attendees were genuinely interested in learning about this life-saving medication, and many expressed their commitment to being part of the solution to the opioid crisis. We had engaging conversations with individuals who wanted to know how they could access Naloxone, how to use it, and how to support those in their community who may be at risk of opioid overdose.

Our Commitment to You

At GDAS, we are dedicated to providing access to Naloxone and comprehensive education on its use. We believe that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to respond effectively to an opioid overdose. If you missed us at Newport Pride but are interested in learning more about Naloxone or accessing this life-saving medication, please reach out to us. We are here to help, support, and empower you in your journey towards harm reduction and healthier communities. 

We post harm reduction advice weekly, helpful tips on improving your quality of life, groups within Gwent, base updates, drug alerts and much more! 

If you have any questions or need to contact your key worker, feel free to reach out to us on one of our social media pages. 

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There is currently contaminated Heroin in circulation throughout Gwent. 

If you have a sample you’d like to get tested please attend your local base. 

Make sure you have Naloxone, it could save somebody’s life. You can order yours and receive free training here.  

Follow us on Facebook, instagram or twitter for updates. 

GDAS is urging everyone who holds Naloxone equipment to check their kit, following a warning from manufacturers. Naloxone kits should include two needles; however, it has emerged some kits in France contain only one – or no – needles. The brand affected is known as Prenoxad.

Buvidal is a new medication that has been funded by the Welsh Government and is a new form of opiate substitution treatment. There have been several academic research studies published on the back of its success, but this is the first peer-led evaluation of the medication.

During the CV19 Pandemic, Newport was used as a pilot site for a new pioneering peer to peer naloxone pilot. The pilot involved training peer educators to walk the streets of Newport supplying life saving Naloxone kits to individuals and community members.

Right now Hepatitis C testing might be at the bottom of a long list, but treating it quickly will help you to avoid serious liver damage in the future. Testing is confidential, free and painless. Get tested to protect yourself and others.