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Category Archives: Service Users

Updated GDAS Base Opening Times

We are reopening our bases so that our Service Users can have face to face appointments but there will be limited days and times that people can attend. There is no drop in available and attending is by appointment only. Check out the timetable below to find out about the base near you. Give the base a ring if you aren’t sure about any information.

 

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Smoking and Covid-19

We know now that people who smoke are at higher risk of getting more severe forms of COVID-19. Now is a great time to quit for many reasons, take a look at the information below to find out more and click here to find out what support Help Me Quit Wales can offer. If you’d like the PDF of this inforation then please click here – Smoking-COVID.

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Stay Scam Aware during the COVID-19 crisis

Unfortunately even in a time of national crisis there are still people who are trying to scam others, especially those who are most vulnerable. Some of these scams relate directly to COVID-19 – such as virus tests that aren’t really available, miracle cures or services in the home that aren’t real. Take a look at the information below (in English and Welsh) and check out www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk for more information.

 

 

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Guidance about substance withdrawal

Heroin/Opiates

Symptoms: Shaking, sweating, sickness, diarrhoea, flu like symptoms

Those that are heroin/opiate dependent may try to buy opiate based pain killers such as co-codamol, although this drug is an opiate and will help with withdrawal symptoms it also contains paracetamol which when taken in large quantities there will be a risk of paracetamol overdose.

It is important that those in physical withdrawal use Imodium to alleviate the diarrhoea symptoms. Using anti sickness drugs such as Phenergan or Cyclizine would help with nausea and sickness though the client would need their GP to prescribe Cyclizine. Use dioralyte or other brands that replace essential body salts lost through sickness and diarrhoea. It is essential that they stay as hydrated as possible whilst in withdrawal.

Once they have gone through withdrawal they are high risk of overdose when they use heroin/opiates again and Prenoxad and harm reduction advice should be given on this. Their tolerance will be lower and using opiates again after this will increase their risk of overdose, especially if they use alcohol or benzodiazepines alongside opiates.

 

Benzodiazepines/Pregabalin

Symptoms: Shaking, sweating, possible hallucinations

If someone presents with benzodiazepine/pregabalin withdrawal and shows the above symptoms there is a risk of fits/seizure and medical advice or treatment should be sought immediately. If someone does go into seizure then an ambulance should be called immediately.

 

 Cocaine/Amphetamines

Symptoms: Muscle aches, exhaustion, fatigue, restlessness, depression/anxiety, possible psychosis

A person in withdrawal from cocaine/amphetamines may well have been awake for many days and due to these being stimulants the person may not have been hydrating or eating regularly so it is important that they start to hydrate and eat, though when in withdrawal most will begin to regain their appetite that has been suppressed. Sleep is essential for this group due to the lack of sleep and exhaustion/fatigue they may be feeling. Those with more severe symptoms or mental health issues may suffer from psychosis, if this is the case medical advice should be sought and referral to mental health services explored.

 

Cannabis

Symptoms: Depression, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, irritable.

Though there are no physical withdrawals that put a cannabis user’s life in danger, they will suffer some or all of the above symptoms. They may well feel that they reply on cannabis to aid sleep, relieve anxiety issues or help with eating issues. Cannabis users will feel anxious that their routine has changed and the benefits they believe they gain from cannabis such as aiding sleep has changed so they may become irritable and suffer from anxiety or depression.  It is important that these in this category try to fill their time with positive activities or use aids such as mindfulness to help them through this period. GDAS has manuals that can be accessed surrounding managing emotions and self-harm, anxiety and sleep which would benefit these individuals.

 

GDAS is still accepting referrals for support for drugs or alcohol. Please get in touch on 0333 999 3577 and info@gdas.wales.

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Self-help workbooks now available

GDAS is very happy to be able to offer some self-help work books to aid people in managing their mental health and well-being during the tough times we’re experiencing. These workbooks have been created for GDAS by Forensic Psychology Consultancy (FP Consultancy) who are an independent practice of Psychologists with expertise in working with perpetrators of crime, victims and those at risk. These workbooks are suitable for anyone. 

These workbooks focus on staying psychologically healthy and cover the following topics:
 
  • Managing anxiety and sleep
  • Managing emotions and self-harm 
  • Feeling positive and creating good habits

    Please download these for your own use by clicking the links below or share them far and wide so everyone can benefit from them. Check out https://www.forensicpsychologyuk.com/ to find out more about what they have to offer.

Finally, remember that GDAS is still taking referrals for support even if people can’t come to our bases at the moment. Please get in touch with us for advice or to get support and let others know who too who it could help.

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Alcohol use advice during COVID-19 restrictions

Managing and Controlling My Alcohol Use

During the Coronavirus Pandemic you may have difficulties buying your alcohol.  To help prevent you experiencing severe alcohol withdrawals please follow the tips below:

 

  • Know the number of units in the alcohol you drink

This should be written on the side of the bottle or can and will be a picture of a bottle or glass with number inside.  This number is the number of units in that bottle or can.

e.g.      750ml bottle of vodka = 26 units

750ml bottle of 13.5% red wine = 10 units

440 ml of 4.5% lager = 2 units

 

  • How long do I need to wait until I have my next alcoholic drink?

As an average each unit of alcohol you drink will stay in your blood stream for approximately 1 hour.  So if you had a can of 4.5% lager you would not need another can for 1½ – 2 hours.

If you are drinking a bottle of wine or spirits you need to be aware of how much of the bottle you are drinking per day as glass sizes can differ and be hard to know how many units you are having per glass.

 

  • Pace and Space

When you drink, pace yourself.  Sip slowly. Have no more than one standard drink with alcohol per hour.  Have “drink spacers”—make every other drink a non-alcoholic one, such as water, soda, or juice. Your goal for average drinking time should not be less than 30 minutes per drink. Always allow time between consuming one drink before the next.

 

  • What to do if I have Alcohol Withdrawals?

If you start to experience hand tremors (the shakes), sweating, nausea, palpitations sip at your alcohol until the symptoms subside or have 1 unit each hour initially and then monitor the symptoms to see if you can lengthen the time between each drink  Do not let your withdrawal symptoms get out of hand but attend to them when they begin.   If you start to experience palpitations, visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not actually real) or seizures (fits) please go to A&E or phone 999 (unless you are experiencing a high temperature and a dry persistent cough then phone 111 for advice and explain all your symptoms including withdrawal).

 

Please do not stop drinking alcohol completely if you are alcohol dependent. Call  us at GDAS if you would like to get some support for your alcohol use or for more advice. 

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GDAS Coronavirus Service Update

The Government advice about managing the spread of Coronavirus changed last night and therefore we wanted to update everyone on the changes to our service.

It has been agreed that our primary focus should be on continuing to provide vital service to our Service Users. For all those people who currently have prescribing places with GDAS this will continue and our clinical team will work with Service Users to manage this as best as possible.

Powells Place as our prescribing base will remain open, with a team onsite. We are reviewing collection dates and methods for social distancing so please await information about this from our clinical team or from keyworkers. We will continue to managing prescriptions working with our colleagues in Pharmacies around Gwent.

The following bases are closed from tomorrow 18/03/2020:

  • The Hub (Newport)
  • Godfrey Road (Newport)
  • The Junction (Monmouthshire)
  • Penmaen House (Caerphilly)

 

Our needle exchanges will be open in the following bases. We will do our best to ensure that any needle exchanges abide by the recommended social distancing mechanisms so please bear with us if this interrupts the normal methods of exchanges.

  • St. Fagan’s House (Caerphilly)
  • The Lighthouse (Torfaen)
  • Cru Glas (Blaenau Gwent)
  • The Citadel (Blaenau Gwent)

 

Keyworkers and admin staff will be working from home as from 18/03/20 and will be providing support to Service Users virtually such as over the phone or via computer. All assessment appointments for new referrals will take place over the phone or on computer. There will be no outreach appointments for the foreseeable future apart from virtually.  All Service User groups, holistic therapies, acupuncture and drop in sessions have also been suspended.

Please keep an eye on this website and on the GDAS social media pages for up to date information. If you are unsure and wish to speak to someone our SPOC is 0333 9993577 for advice and guidance.

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GDAS and the Coronavirus

GDAS is working hard to keep our services running whilst looking after the health and well-being of both our Service Users and Staff. You will see some new signs on our doors from today which gives the following advice:

PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE BUILDING IF YOU HAVE:

  • A HIGH  TEMPERATURE
  • A NEW, CONTINUOUS COUGH

If you have these symptoms you must isolate in your home for 7 days. Please ring the GDAS Single point of contact on 03339 993 577. Or contact your Key Worker directly.

You will then be given advice on how we can support you during this isolation period and advice on staying at home.

Please keep in touch with key workers or check social media (Twitter: @TheGDAS, Facebook: GDAS Recovery) for up to date information about accessing our services.
Here are some helpful tips to keep you and those around you as safe as we can at the moment:
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Alcohol Awareness and Football Event

GDAS held a post-football world cup on 17/7/18 at Abergavenny Youth Centre highlighting Alcohol awareness surrounding events such as the world cup and the summertime in general. Organised by Gareth Leonard, the day was a huge success!
We had members from the Recovery team who brought service users who participated in the events and volunteers who cooked the food and made drinks for everyone.
OOWs who had clients attended and a stall, criminal justice brought clients and had a board with stats from the recent world cup surrounding alcohol and crime and a guess the units in different alcohol beverages. Everyone who participated in the board questions on alcohol and crime at the world cup and know your units were very shocked with the figures surrounding domestic abuse increases even when England won games, the level of disorder on the streets and the amount of units in alcoholic drinks.
Family/concerned others service came along with beer goggles and also offered support.
We held a raffle the prizes were a box of chocolates and a £20 next voucher.
The football guest referee was Craig Denner who is Street Football Wales coach and Street Football world cup referee.
The day was a massive success with everyone participating and service users stating that they had a wonderful day and hope we will be able to hold more events such as these.
Here are some pictures from the day:
20180717_103527 20180717_103416 20180717_102425 (1) 20180717_102356 20180717_092833
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Gwent Wide Mental Health Awarness Events – 23rd May 2018

On the 23rd May GDAS is holding a set of Mental Health Awareness Events spread across a number of our bases in Gwent.

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