Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS)Service User Consultation

Insight from Ieuan Davies

My name is Ieuan Davies, I was involved in the APB project of engaging active users of NPS in a consultation event to find out the street issues of NPS in Wrexham.I attended the consultations all week and engaged the active NPS users in both the Cafe (neutral setting) and in local services. Throughout the consultation event, myself and a cohort of other ‘service users’ had ongoing support of the staff and our involvement broke down several of the barriers that engagement often brings. I was involved in the project from very early on, having input on the questions, engaging the active users, collaborating the answers and sitting down in meetings after the event to put forward our commendations for actions to happen afterwards. I was then part of the presentation team, reporting our findings to a wide array of professional and service user bodies.

From the start, I felt that I held a key role in the project and that I was well equipped to participate in the event with ample support from the professionals. I felt engaged and I really appreciated the opportunity to ‘give back’ to the community that I had damaged in my substance misuse journey. I particularly felt that the presentation team work really benefitted me in building my skills and confidence. Everywhere we went, the presentation was well received and I was impressed by how much our recommendations were listened to and I have seen some evidence that there has been some ongoing work on these.

I feel like this work has greatly benefitted me and the community, and I am grateful and proud to have been part of it. It was an exemplar of how service user involvement can look, and proof of how well it can work.