Reducing Drug Related Deaths

Thursday, 13 December 2012
Local agencies across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire are promoting National Overdose Awareness Day on Thursday December 13th 2012.
This year the focus is not only on overdose of illicit drugs, but also to raise awareness of the dangers of overdose through mixing different drugs, including alcohol, prescription medication, over the counter medication and also some of the new and emerging substances.
 
As previously, the promotion of the ‘Take Home Naloxone Scheme’ will feature across Wales, and friends, family and concerned others are encouraged to take up the opportunity of free basic overdose awareness training. Naloxone when administered acts to temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose for between 15 minutes and an hour, thus allowing time to call emergency services.  
 
This work forms part of the Welsh Government’s Working Together to Reduce Harm substance misuse strategy for Wales 2008 – 2018.
Stuart Moncur, Assistant Director of Planning and Chair of the Substance Misuse Area Planning Board said: “There were 14 known Drug Related Deaths across the Hywel Dda Region during 2011.  This is a 33% reduction on the previous year where there were a total of 21. 
 
“We want to remind the public of the risks posed by experimenting with any substances and especially where alcohol is also used.  We hope that everyone enjoys a safe and happy festive season, and that if you have any concerns about a friend or loved one that you don’t hesitate to contact the emergency services.”
 
Although the number of HIV positive illicit drug users is low, the Hywel Dda Health Board’s Blood Borne Virus Clinical Nurse Specialists always reinforce the risks of all Blood borne viruses.  Harm reduction for illicit drug users is of constant importance and is reiterated on all visits and appointments. 
 
The team also offers safer sex advice along with issuing condoms and advise leaflets.  When people are under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol they are often more inclined to take risks and this can involve having sexual intercourse with unknown partners without the use of a condom.  The aims of the Blood borne virus service is to continue to offer support and advice along harm reduction advice and health promotion.
 
The community safety partnerships within the three counties, which include Hywel Dda Health Board, Dyfed Powys Police and the local authorities, form part of the Dyfed Area Planning Board for Substance Misuse.
 
To find out what events are planned in your area for National Overdose Awareness Day, or for free confidential information and advice please contact any of the following services:
 
Prism Ymlaen, Pembrokeshire 01437 769484
Cyswllt Contact, Ceredigion 01970 626470
Turning Point (Catalyst), Carmarthenshire 01554 744377
Old Parish Hall, Llanelli 01554 731383
DAN 27/7 – 08088082234 (National Helpline)
 
Am ragor o wybodaeth, neu i dderbyn y datganiad hwn yn Gymraeg, cysylltwch ag:
 
For further information, or to receive this press release in Welsh, please contact: :MediaOffice.Hyweldda@wales.nhs.uk