Swansea Drugs Project

Swansea Drugs Project, Mansel Street, Swansea

The Swansea Drugs Project is an independent charity, which provides a range of services for drug users, their families and friends.

The Project was founded in 1983 by local residents concerned at rising levels of problem drug use in the area. Over the past 25 years, the Project has developed from a small community based telephone help line into one of the leading “street agencies” in Wales. The Project is committed to reducing the harm which drug and alcohol use can sometimes cause and to enabling drug users and ex-users to lead fulfilling and healthy lives. We are funded to carry out this work by a range of statutory contracts and charitable grants.

The demand for help from people with problems associated with drug and alcohol taking has grown, and in response the Project has successfully sought a range of funds for caseworkers to address a range of diverse issues. At the same time, a wide range of public bodies has increasingly called upon our expertise in this field.

We have helped to develop strategies for substance misuse treatment and prevention, we are called upon to provide training to statutory authority staff, we have participated in prevention initiatives and we have been instrumental in developing new services in the area.

Our Mission Statement

The Swansea Drugs project is a community based agency which exists to provide specialist confidential help and support to drug and alcohol users in Swansea:

  1. To help them to live healthier lives
  2. To minimise physical, psychological, social and legal problems related to drug use

Philosophy & Values

The Swansea Drugs Project is a harm reduction agency, that is willing to work with service users even if they don't want to, or are currently unable to abstain from alcohol or drug misuse. We work with often the most chaotic users, and try not to have many restrictions or hurdles that will stop them from engaging with the service.

It is only through engaging with the service that we can work with them to minimize any damage, and hopefully lead to a more fulfilling lifestyle. We support our service users towards changing their use and towards abstinence if that is their goal.

A number of smaller teams make up the swansea drugs project these include:

  • Drop in and needle exchange
  • Housing support team
  • Family team
  • Links: support to encourage and enable users to access diversionary activities, education, training or employment
  • “The Place” – a seperate service for children and young people

Values & Beliefs

Our vision is that everyone affected by problem substance use has the right to health, dignity and respect.

  • We aim to enable people to reduce the harm that problem substance use causes
  • We neither promote nor denounce problem substance use
  • We recognise the potential of the people we work with
  • We are committed to innovation
  • We believe that people have fundamental rights
  • We believe that with rights go responsibilities
  • We treat all of the people who use our services with respect
  • We aim to take a wider role in society
  • We believe in partnership
  • We aim to be open and accountable
  • We strive to be a quality led organization
  • We have a local, national and international perspective

Harm Reduction

  • Pragmatic: Harm reduction recognises that containment and reduction of drug-related harms is a more feasible option than efforts to eliminate drug use entirely
  • Prioritises goals: harm reduction responses to drug use incorporate the notion of a hierarchy of goals, with the immediate focus on proactively engaging individuals, targeting groups, and communities to address their most compelling needs through the provision of accessible and user friendly services. Achieving the most immediate realistic goals is viewed as an essential first step toward risk-free use, or, if appropriate, abstinence
  • Has a humanist value: the drug user’s decision to use drugs is accepted as fact. No moral judgment is made either to condemn or to support use of drugs. The dignity and rights of the drug user are respected, and services endeavour to be ‘user friendly’ in the way they operate
  • Focuses on risks and harms: on the basis that by providing responses that reduce risk, harms can be reduced or avoided
  • Does not focus on abstinence: although harm reduction supports those who seek to moderate or reduce their drug use, it neither excludes nor presumes a treatment goal of abstinence. Harm reduction approaches recognize that short-term abstinence oriented treatments have low success rates, and, for opiate users, high post-treatment overdose rates
  • Seeks to maximise the range of intervention options that are available