Wales is unique within the UK as there is a unified substance misuse strategy Working Together to Reduce Harm: The Substance Misuse Strategy for Wales 2008-2018 addressing both drugs, alcohol and poly drug use.
This is consistent with the approach adopted within Public Health Wales. Within Public Health, two divisions, Health Improvement and Health Protection are involved in the substance misuse agenda.
The Health Improvement team in Public Health Wales are working to minimize the misuse of substances at a population level. This includes alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medication and new psychoactive substances.
Health Protection emphasises the building of evidence based mechanisms intended for protecting health and well-being, preventing ill-health and prolonging life.
The teams are experienced and well placed to provide robust, evidence based guidance and information on the range of harms associated with substance misuse, which may also include increased sexual and other risk activity (e.g. crime and incarceration) and associated risk of infection with blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections.
Often drugs and alcohol are used in combination (be they licit/prescribed or illicit drugs) and as such these web pages have been designed to better capture and describe the nature and scale of substance misuse in Wales.
The following sections have been designed to provide an overview (with the addition of supporting documents) of the work that Public Health Wales is actively engaged in and has completed to date in the field of substance misuse.
This has been split into two clear sections; Evidence, and Engagement. We would encourage exploration of each element to gain insight into the true nature of substance misuse in Wales and the wider UK and the new and innovative work Public Health Wales is involved with.
Please use the links below to find out more.