David Rees AM highlights alcohol and substance misuse services

David Rees, AM for Aberavon, in his capacity as Chair of the Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee, yesterday opened the debate into the committee’s report into Alcohol and Substance misuse.

This timely debate has come at a time when we have seen The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) release guidelines for preventing the risks of dementia, disability and frailty suggest drinking alcohol is among several factors which can increase a person’s vulnerability. The watchdog has called on the health service to make clear the dangers of drinking alcohol and “encourage people to reduce the amount they drink as much as possible”.

David Rees AM said: “Alcohol and drug misuse is not dominated by young people and a binge drinking culture.  We are seeing more and more middle aged and older people drinking alone, and often in their own homes due to the changes we are seeing in society. We must combat these new trends.”

Mr Rees notes that the misuse of alcohol and illegal drugs damages the very fabric of our communities and the ability of people in Wales to lead fulfilling lives and reach their potential. He also stressed that the importance which the Assembly places on tackling alcohol and substance misuse, and the actions that will be taken as a direct result of the Committee’s work, cannot not be underestimated.

David added: “The misuse of alcohol and drugs, both prescribed and illegal, will hopefully reduce over time. However, there will remain groups within our communities who will remain at risk.  We must act to address these matters and provide strong sustainable services to support them.”