A Plaid Cymru MS has hosted the first ever Senedd cross-party group on substance misuse, abuse and addiction.
Peredur Owen Griffiths, who will chair the group, set it up with the help of drug treatment charity Kaleidoscope to start a “national conversation” on ways in which treatment and rehabilitation can be improved in Wales. Kaleidoscope will provide secretariat support.
The inaugural meeting was well-attended and featured speakers to talk about the ways in which addiction had affected their lives – whether personally or through loved ones.
Afterwards, Peredur said: “The idea was borne out of a desire to create a ‘national conversation’ about the ways in which we can mitigate against the harm that legal and illegal substances are causing in our communities throughout Wales.
“In terms of fulfilling this aim to stimulate conversation and discussion, it was a great first meeting of this new Cross-Party group. We had some very powerful accounts from people who have dealt with addiction and substance misuse first-hand.
“A central theme that emerged was the power of peer mentoring in recovery and that is a message that I will be taking to the Labour Government in Wales.
“In future, we hope to have the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Well-Being appear in one of our sessions, providing a direct-link to policy making in Wales.
“I hope that by stimulating further discussion and exchanging good practice, we can take a more compassionate approach and emphasis the reduction of harm then that will be something to strive for.”
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