Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service

Since 2014 the Office of the Police and Crimes Commissioner for Gwent has invested more than £800,000 annually into the Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service (GDAS).

GDAS is a consortium of Kaleidoscope, Barod and G4S that provides advice and targeted support to drug and alcohol users, their families, and professionals who may deal with people presenting with drug and alcohol problems.

The consortium approach was the first of its kind in Gwent and is now seen as best practice. Bringing a range of service providers together means that service users experience low to no waiting times, and a seamless transition between services.

Drug and alcohol abuse is often a contributing factor to crime and antisocial behaviour. The majority of the funding from the OPCC is used to support GDAS Criminal Justice which works with those either within or at the point of entry to the criminal justice system.

Staff are based within the custody suites at Newport and Ystrad Mynach, and work closely with the police to try and ensure that they visit every person entering custody to see if they require support. There is also a support officer based within Newport Magistrates Court.

By addressing substance abuse directly and, in many cases, working with mental health professionals to examine its underlying causes, those dependent on drugs and alcohol are offered an alternative pathway in life which is also helping to prevent crime within communities.

Case Study

A service user from Caerphilly was given a six-month Alcohol Treatment Order by the court as a result of self-disclosed binge drinking and an acknowledgment of a link between alcohol and a recent offence.

Through detailed assessment and care planning with a GDAS support worker, several objectives were identified which the service user explored during weekly sessions. The support worker worked with the service user to develop coping and recovery skills, but also liaised with key services such as health, housing and the Family Support Service, to ensure the best possible support through a joined-up, partnership approach.

Thanks to the support from GDAS the service user has reported that they have been able to reduce their alcohol intake and, as a result, their mental and physical health is better, and they have a better relationship with their family. They have asked to continue working with GDAS on a voluntary basis once their court order has come to an end.

More about GDAS

Guest blog: Deborah Lippiatt, GDAS Criminal Justice Service Manager

Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service website