A contract totalling £13.5 million over three years has been awarded to the newly formed Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service (GDAS) to work with substance misusers who refer into treatment voluntarily or come into contact with the criminal justice system and their families. The new provider is working closely with the Gwent Drug Interventions programme to deliver bespoke drug and alcohol services for adults across Gwent.

The funding for this service has been provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, the Gwent Area Planning Board (APB), the Welsh Government, all Local Authorities in Gwent, the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and the National Probation Service. 

GDAS is made up of a consortium of three providers. Drug and alcohol prevention, support and recovery providers Kaleidoscope and Drugaid Wales have, for the first time, teamed up with leading global security company, G4S, to create a package which combines all the adult services into one main provision. This is the first time in Wales that a single contract has been tendered joining up criminal justice providers with community led drug and alcohol services.

The criminal justice element of this new single contract will be known as IRIS Gwent. This name was chosen in consultation with criminal justice service users who felt that it was representative of the service to be delivered - an Integrated Recovery Interventions Service.

IRIS Gwent will engage with, support and manage individuals with substance misuse problems who are involved in the criminal justice system. The service is aimed at drug or alcohol users aged 18 years and over and will work with substance users and their families, friends and carers in both community and criminal justice settings. It will provide prison link services for problem drug users and manage offenders who have statutory orders made by the Court for treatment of substance misuse.

Community provision will be delivered by GDAS staff who will support individuals to address substance related issues and help them to access appropriate interventions which will reduce physical dependence and related health problems. The aim is to improve the service users physical, psychological, family and social functioning. The service will also provide a strong recovery element including aftercare and peer support for substance misusers and their loved ones in order to prevent relapse and for them to sustain the gains they have made in treatment.