A DRUGS charity is raising local concern over the amount of drug-related deaths in the Dyfed-Powys area over recent weeks, with chances of the deaths being caused by a batch of heroin being provided in the area.
The Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Service (DDAS) are suggesting that the links between the deaths could be due to a batch of heroin that is impure or contaminated.
Whilst the drug is already life-damaging enough and can ruin a lot of people’s lives due to addiction, this case of contamination could cause even more problems to users who have drug-related problems that heavily depend on the drug.
Addiction is a family disease; one person may use, but the whole family suffers.
Rowan Williams, Regional Director of Drugaid said: “Whilst nobody wants to see people risk their lives by taking heroine, we recognise that there are a lot of individuals who misuse drugs, including heroin.
Over the years we have seen far too many lives destroyed by drugs – not just the users but also their families and friends, after all drug users are also somebody’s son or daughter, mother or father.”
The Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Service are inviting any heroin users or family or friends of any users to contact them to receive support about any worries they may have.
The project offers a chance to confidentially discuss drug related concerns, and can provide a range of ways to help support users who wish to stop using or cut down.
Heroin users, as well as their families and loved ones, are being encouraged to obtain ‘Take Home Naloxone’ (THN) from DDAS, which reverses the effects of opiate overdose and can help save lives.
Teresa Owen, Chair of the Dyfed Area Planning Board and Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda University Health Board commented: “Thankfully drug related deaths in Wales have been falling during the past two years, incidents like this only serve to highlight the need to continue to inform and educate heavy drug users about the risks they face.
“The most important thing is to prevent any further deaths and any further heartache to families. DDAS is working with similar agencies, the police and other emergency services to warn of the dangers and risks of heroin taking.”
The advice given from DDAS to users is advised in 3 steps: Always test first; don’t take drugs alone; and always carry Naloxone.
DDAS advised: “Always try and ensure that you are not alone when taking drugs. All too often people overdose and die, when having somebody else present could have meant somebody could have dealt with the situation or called the emergency services. Always call an ambulance. It could mean life or death.
“Naloxone is an antidote which is distributed free by all the drugs services in Dyfed-Powys. This can be administered to somebody who has overdosed and will revive them and allow for the emergency services to be called. Naloxone has saved many lives since it was made available by the Welsh Government five years ago.”
Rowan Williams finalised: “It is so sad that we are yet again seeing individuals die as a result of drug taking and I would urge drug users to get in touch with DDAS, or any other agency for advice and support or to get their own Naloxone kits to try and ensure we don’t have further tragic deaths.”
To contact DDAS, you can telephone on the number: 03303 639 997. For out of hours you can call DAN 24 / 7 on 0808 808 2234 or text DAN 81066.
Christmas savings worth £245 from Boundless for Llanelli families
WITH just over two months before Christmas, now’s the time to start thinking about wonderful ways to entertain the family in the run up to the festive period. Thanks to a new selection of days out and discounts from Boundless, worth up to £245*, it’s easy for people to make the most of their free time with family and friends for so much less.
Added to the club’s already impressive roster of activities, getaways, holidays, group activities and savings are four new deals that promise to inject much-needed affordable and magical moments into everyone’s lives after a tough couple of years.
Darren Milton at Boundless said: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer our Llanelli members new fun and inventive ways to enjoy the precious time they spend away from work and with their families and friends.
“Our members have been working especially hard over the past 24 months, and we want to give them the chance to switch off and make memories with the people that matter to them most.”
The four new offers are included in the overall Boundless membership deal, which is open to all public sector employees and civil servants, working and retired, for just £29 a year.
They include access to the expansive WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre in Carmarthenshire, and other sites throughout the country, at no additional cost, thanks to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, which offers complimentary family admission to include the member plus an adult guest and up to six children.
Members also have 12-month access to Kids Pass, which offers 2,000+ savings at a wide range of days out including zoos, aquariums and all the major theme parks with ‘kids eat free’ offers too.
Taking everyone out for a delicious meal needn’t mean forking out over the odds either. Thanks to Dine, there are impressive discounts – such as 50% off and 241 on mains – for all members at thousands of restaurants and coffee shops nationwide, including several throughout Llanelli, with a focus on local, quality, independent venues.
For those travelling further afield, what could be better than a trip to the magical Kew Gardens in Southwest London or Wakehurst in West Sussex? All Boundless members can take advantage of unlimited complimentary admission to both venues, plus 50% off for an adult guest per member, and free entry for up to five children. To get ahead with the Christmas shopping, there’s also a 10% discount at the onsite and online gift shops.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to explore Kew’s 320 acres of flora and fauna and Wakehurst’s 500 acres of diverse woodland, and to experience the beauty of nature with the whole family while learning about biodiversity and the work that this organisation does to protect the Earth’s delicate ecosystem.
For more information on membership and all offers, visit boundless.co.uk/benefits
17-year-old rescue dog finds love again
A GOLDEN OLDIE who is over 100 years old in dog years finally knows what love is after being rescued by the RSPCA.
Akita Duke – who is 17 years old or 104 in dog years – was rescued by police and taken in by the RSPCA in August after he was left inside a property in South Wales.
Inspector David Milborrow was called to the home on 23 August by South Wales Police who found the dog in poor health. Duke was taken in by the RSPCA’s South Cotswolds branch.
Haley Medlock – digital and community fundraiser for Cotswolds Dogs and Cats Home – said: “Poor Duke was in quite a state when he arrived here. He was underweight and very unsteady on his legs. He was suffering from severe muscle loss, knuckling of his hind limbs and sores on his back legs. Walking is a real struggle for him.
“Despite all of this, he is full of love and adores cuddling up to our staff and snoozing in the sunshine. Realistically we don’t know how long this lovely lad has left but we’re determined to ensure his final weeks or months are the best they can be.”
The team placed him up for adoption or fostering but had no interest in him due to his age and his failing health. That is until first-time fosterers Kate* and her family got in touch to offer him a foster home to live out his days.
Kate said: “We lost our dog in January and when we saw Duke’s advert on Facebook we were so sad that he hadn’t had any applications. We felt every dog deserves a loving home, especially in those later years and, being a vet student studying at home, I felt we could offer him a suitable home.
“He’s getting on so well and settled in straight away. His personality is really coming through now, he’s doing much better with his mobility around the house and he barks when we get his harness out for a walk. He gets so excited when my parents come home from work and wags his tail.
“Considering all he’s been through it is lovely to see that he can still trust people and that’s testament to the work of the RSPCA and his wonderful carers at Cotswolds Dogs and Cats Home.”
“Duke is so happy in his new foster home and is loving the home comforts and attention he deserves,” Haley added. “We can’t thank his new family enough for providing him with a safe and loving space to enjoy life.
“Now we’re looking for wonderful supporters to sponsor Duke and help him in his new home. He has costly daily pain relief, medication for his joints and cream to treat his sores. We’d also like to buy him a high-quality harness and walking aid to help him get back on his paws.
“The cost of his ongoing care is expected to be around £550 so we’re appealing to local people who have followed his story and fallen in love with this old lad to help us support him so he can have the best retirement possible.”
Small Grants Scheme launched by Police and Crime Commissioner aimed at reducing acquisitive crimes in Llanelli
Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn has today launched the Safer Street small grant scheme for projects aimed at reducing acquisitive crimes.
Up to £2000 is available through the scheme for charities, voluntary organisations and community groups in part of the Elli Tyisha wards of Llanelli. (Map of eligible area is available in guidelines document – link below.)
The small grants scheme is part of the Safer Streets initiative whereby funding was secured earlier this year by the Police and Crime Commissioner in partnership with Carmarthenshire Safer Communities Partnership from the Home Office.
The funding will support the development of projects that have a direct impact on these local communities in Elli and Tyisha that will make residents feel safer and reduce demand on the police.
In 2020, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn launched a small grants scheme for an area in Glanymor and another area of the Tyisha ward of Llanelli. Following this additional funding from the Home Office, the Commissioner is now able to launch a separate grants scheme for part of the Elli and Tyisha wards.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said; “I am delighted to announce this additional small grant fund today that is part of the Safer Street funding scheme that I secured earlier this year.
“Ensuring the security and safety of residents is a priority of mine – everyone deserves to live safely, and free from harm.
“Acquisitive offences are the crimes that the public are most likely to encounter, and they are estimated to cost society billions of pounds every year. There is strong evidence that these crimes can be prevented by tactics that either remove opportunities to commit crime or act as a deterrent by increasing the chances of an offender being caught.
“I have invested significantly in the area over recent years with community grants I made available in addition to the new CCTV system that is in place across the town. This new additional funding will further build upon my work over recent years and I hope the residents will feel a positive difference in their communities.”
Cllr Ann Davies, Executive Board Member for Communities and Rural Affairs and Chair of the Safer Community Partnership said: “The Council and Safer Communities Partnership are really pleased to have been able to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner on securing this funding. We are delighted to be part of this initiative to help our residents be safer and feel safer, building on our ongoing work in these communities to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
“The Partnership is made up of local partners that all aim to make Carmarthenshire safer, including the Council, Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Probation and Health. We will be happy to support local organisations to help us all achieve that aim, so please contact us with your ideas before 17 September.”
Closing date for applications is the 17th of September. Funding guidelines and application form can be downloaded from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website here.
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