Q&A with Stoke-on-Trent Community Drug and Alcohol Service

We spoke to Darren Bowyer (Senior Service Manager) at Stoke-on-Trent Community Drug and Alcohol Service (CDAS) and asked him some questions about alcohol, drugs and the services they offer.

How much alcohol is considered unhealthy?

Our advice mirrors national guidance from The Chief Medical Officers' guideline, which applies to everyone (no matter what your gender is) which states that:

To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it's best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days.

See how many units are in different drinks here.

Is there anywhere that people can see drug alerts about contaminated batches of drugs?

The service receives and adds to both local and national drug alerts around the current intelligence and risk posed by certain substances that are being used. The City of Stoke on Trent Council has a drug alert process which Stoke-on-Trent CDAS feeds into.

The information contained within these alerts are displayed within our services so our service users are aware of any high risk illicit substances that are potentially in the area.

What services are offered at CDAS?

Stoke-on-Trent CDAS offers a wide range services covering young people and adults who have issues with drug or alcohol issues. Below is an overview of services provided:-

  • Services for adults, young people, parents and families.

  • Access and engagement.

  • Criminal justice team.

  • Recovery service.

  • Recovery-focused 1:1 case management.

  • Psychological interventions (motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, solution focussed therapy, interpersonal dynamics and social interactions).

  • Social enterprise expertise for voluntary and paid work placements.

  • Peer Support.

  • Community prescribing and detoxification.

  • Specialist inpatient detoxification and titration.

  • BBV service.

  • Pregnant drug service.

  • Edward Myers inpatient detoxification and titration from illicit substances.

Stoke CDAS support in a proactive and friendly way engaging with the following groups to deliver stability and long term recovery:-

  • People using drugs (Illicit, prescribed and non-prescribed).

  • People with alcohol issues; both dependent and binge drinkers.

  • Family members.

  • Young people.

  • People who are pregnant who use alcohol or drugs.

  • Linking Professionals.

Is CDAS an LGBT+ inclusive service?

Stoke-on-Trent CDAS is an LGBT+ inclusive service and meets with the diverse needs of our population. Nobody will be turned away from our service as it remains inclusive to all whom refer to the service.

North Staffordshire Combined Health Care NHS Trust are the contract lead for Stoke CDAS and are supporting the NHS Rainbow Badges Initiative which offers open, non-judgemental and inclusive care for people of all ages who identify as LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, the + simply means that we are inclusive of all identities, regardless of how people define themselves.)

Originally growing from a conversation and shared experiences between colleagues at Guys and St Thomas’ Trust in London, the initiative aims to make a positive difference by promoting a message of inclusion.

Our staff within the Stoke CDAS are all provided with training to meet with the needs and understanding of our collective service group diversity, so we guarantee all services user will be provided with dignity and respect.

Are services at CDAS confidential?

Stoke CDAS provides a confidential service that is regulated and meets with national standards for GDPR and linking data confidentiality. All service users are asked to sign up to our confidentiality agreement that helps protect them from information being shared with other services where they do not consent for their information to be shared with.

If I ring up and say I want help with drugs/alcohol, what will you say?

There are number of ways of contacting the Stoke CDAS service including our award winning web chat that can be found on our website, If you should ring the service we will try and establish what the exact issue is and from this information you provide. We will provide you with an appointment for an initial assessment with one of our friendly experienced drug or alcohol workers which will then determine the appropriate treatment pathway for your future care to recovery. Our service is here to help and we will always try and support all services users or concerned family or friends.

Can CDAS refer me to other support services?

Stoke CDAS is well established in the local community and is well connected to other support services and NHS organisations. If during assessment or review we identify there is a need for other specialist services we will initiate this on your behalf providing you have given consent.

And don’t forget, if anyone has drunk alcohol or taken drugs they can’t legally consent to sex. Read up more about consent here.

#drugs #alcohol #stokeontrent