This page is being used to host information about the work of the independent Western Bay Drugs Commission and information will be updated regularly. If you have any questions about the Commission please contact Andy Perkins by telephone on 07949 775026 or email – WBDrugsCommission@outlook.com
A new independent commission set up to explore the high number of drug-related deaths in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot is calling for communities to get involved.
Anyone affected by problematic drug or alcohol use – personally, or through relatives or friends; professionals or interested members of the public, are being invited to tell their stories to help drive the new commission’s work.
Neath Port Talbot and Swansea have consistently recorded the highest rates of drug-related deaths across all Welsh Health Board areas. During 2021-22, there were 41 recorded drug misuse deaths, at a rate of 11.3 per 100,000 population.
In response, the Western Bay Area Planning Board for Substance Misuse (APB) has launched the independent Western Bay Drugs Commission.
The new Commission will:
- Consider the nature, extent, and impact of substance use across the region.
- Specifically explore drug-related harms and deaths (inclusive of illegal, illicit, prescription and alcohol use).
- Have active regard for the wider (cultural, economic, familial, psychological, and social) determinants and influences of problematic substance use.
- Be a critical friend to all stakeholders (local commissioners, communities, leaders, and providers).
- Use and adapt learning from the Swansea Poverty Truth Commission Model.
- Use, and adapt where necessary, the independent Dundee Drugs Commission Model (Dundee Drugs Commission | Dundee City Council).
- Ensure that our final report includes recommendations on additional priorities for practical and achievable action.
The independence of the Commission will enable it to be rigorous in its process whilst also acknowledging the challenges faced by local services. There will be considerable emphasis given to the voices of those with lived and living experience of drug use, and those affected (families, friends, and carers).
For full details of the Drug Commission members please click here.
INITIAL CALL FOR EVIDENCE
In order for the Commission to identify the priority areas for investigation the Commission would like to invite anyone who wants to comment to do so, whether they are someone affected by drug and/or alcohol use (their own or someone else’s); a professional; or a member of the public.
If you would like to submit a response to the call for evidence please do so by Friday 19th May 2023 @ 5 pm. Full details can be found here – WBDC – Initial Call for Evidence. All responses will be kept anonymous and any identifying information will be removed.
DRUGS COMMISSION MEETINGS
The Drugs Commission has now also started a programme of meetings to be held in public, where evidence will be gathered from local, national, and international experts. These meetings will be open to any interested party to come and observe the discussions (subject to venue capacity).
The next meeting will be held in Neath on Wednesday 26th April 2023 (12.45-2.30pm) at The Haven, 6 Angel Street, Neath, SA11 1RS. To request a place at this meeting (or any future meeting) please email Andy Perkins (facilitator of the Drugs Commission) at WBDrugsCommission@outlook.com
Two further meeting dates have been scheduled for:
- Wednesday 7th June 2023 (12.45-2.30pm) at City Church Swansea, Dyffaty Street, Swansea, SA1 1QQ, and
- Tuesday 27th June 2023 (12.45-2.30pm) at The Haven, 6 Angel Street, Neath, SA11 1RS.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
If you would like to keep in touch with the work of the Drugs Commission, updates will be posted on this webpage at regular intervals. To speak to someone at the Drugs Commission please email Andy Perkins (facilitator of the Drugs Commission) at WBDrugsCommission@outlook.com
You can also follow us on Twitter at @WBDC2023 with updates posted using the #WBDC2023 handle.