Reducing Harm - Introduction
'Working Together to Reduce Harm' is the Welsh Government's 10 year strategy for tackling the harms associated with the misuse of alcohol, drugs and other substances in Wales, 2008-2018.
People who misuse drugs, alcohol or other substances cause considerable harm to themselves and to society. This includes harm to their own physical and mental health and well being, and possibly to their ability to support themselves. They may harm their families’ lives by damaging the health and well being of their children and place a burden of care on other relatives (including their children).
Summary of Harms:
- Alcoholic liver disease is responsible for around 1,600 hospital admissions per year.
- Over 54,000 incidents of violent crime in Wales in 2006-07 were linked to the consumption of alcohol.
- The health service cost in Wales of problem drug use has been estimated at £17.6 million per year.
- The total economic and social cost of Class A drug use in Wales has been estimated to be around £780 million, and drug related crime accounts for 90 per cent of this.
- 20 per cent of Welsh adults admit to binge drinking.
- 30,000 bed days are related to the consequence of alcohol comsumption.
- As many as 129,000 recorded crimes in Wales in 2006-07 were drug related.
- The estimated health service cost in Wales of alcohol related chronic disease and alcohol related acute incidents is between £70 million and £85 million each year.
- The economic and social costs of alcohol and Class A drug misuse in Wales is estimated to be as much as £2 billion each year.
Safer Drug Use
The following information is intended to provide general harm reduction advice. Although a range of drugs are listed not all substances can be included as this would be far too extensive to include on the website.
See the Drugs A-Z for effects and risks of specific substances that are not included in the above list. Always seek advice from support services aimed at helping drug / alcohol users if you feel that you need to talk with someone about your substance use; these agencies are essential to assist and sustain recovery.
Always get help / medical assistance when needed. If someone is suffering bad effects like vomiting, convulsions, unconsciousness - put them in the Recovery Position and call for medical assistance immediately.
Welsh Government's Strategy
Working Together to Reduce Harm is the Welsh Government's 10 year strategy which aims to set out a clear national agenda for reducing the harms associated with substance misuse in Wales. The strategy describes four key aims:
- Reducing the harm to individuals (particularly children and young people), their families and wider communities from the misuse of drugs and alcohol, whilst not stigmatising substance misuse.
- Improving the availability and quality of education, prevention and treatment services and related support, with a greater priority given than under the previous strategy to those related to alcohol.
- Making better use of resources - supporting evidenced based decision making, improving treatment outcomes, developing the skills base of partners and service providers by giving a greater focus to workforce development and joining up agencies and services more effectively in line with 'Making the Connections'.
- Embedding the core Welsh Government values of sustainability, equality and diversity, support for the Welsh language and developing user focused services and a rights basis for children and young people in both the development and delivery of the strategy.
If you have a question about drugs or alcohol use that isn't answered on our website then you can call DAN 24/7 confidentially on 0808 808 2234 at any time and ask an advisor for help.