LABOUR parliamentary candidate Catherine Fookes visited a specialist drug and alcohol service last week to discover more about their work. 

Catherine Fookes visited Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service (GDAS) and charity Kaleidoscope to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week to find out how GDAS is helping Monmouthshire residents struggling with drug and alcohol use. 

Statistics indicate that Monmouthshire has the highest percentage of individuals with problematic alcohol use among all five areas in Gwent.

Recent data shows that 65% of service users were men, lower than the typical proportions across Wales, which averages at 71% men and 29% women.

Currently, the charity is combating emerging threats, such as the rise of nitizines, a synthetic opioid linked to fatal drug overdoses in the UK, by conducting pioneering self-testing kit trials.

Catherine Fookes added, " It's vital we recognise the work that GDAS is doing, as well as other mental health services in Monmouthshire, such as Mind, not just during Mental Health Awareness Week, but all year round."

Find out more about GDAS work at