News and developments

June 2017

Festivals, raves and camping

Free partying, free raving, camping and staying alive.

 How to keep yourself safe:


Be careful not to dehydrate

Dehydrate means lose too much water. The body needs to keep water in its system. Alcohol stops it doing this properly. Dancing loses water, through sweat. Drugs that give you energy (MDMA, amphetamine, cocaine, Meow) make your body hotter, so you sweat more. They also make you move about more, and faster, which also makes you sweat more, even if you’re not dancing. Getting hot in the sunshine makes you sweat even more.

Doing all of these things together is a big risk of dehydration.

Dehydration can cause fits and brain damage, and can be fatal.

Avoid dehydration:

  • Use either alcohol, or stimulant drugs (MDMA, amphetamine, cocaine); never both at the same time.
  • Keep a bottle of water with you always and sip from it regularly (about half a litre an hour).
  • Make sure that you have a water supply available for the whole time you’ll be there.
  • If there is no water supply there, make sure you take enough with you to last the whole time you’ll be there.
  • Take breaks from dancing, to cool down.
  • If it’s daytime and sunny, make sure there is shade nearby and go to it regularly to cool down.

If someone is overheating:

  • Take them to a cool place
  • Remove outer layers of clothing
  • Remove any tight clothing
  • Get them to lie down and keep still
  • Splash their skin with water or wipe them with a cool wet cloth
  • Get them to keep sipping water
  • If they don’t start to feel better, call an ambulance

Signs of dehydration

  • Being more thirsty than you should be
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling tired or sleepy
  • Not able to pee, even if you feel like you need to
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Look out for these signs in your friends and yourself. Don’t ignore them!


  • You might need to call for help if something goes wrong
  • Make sure you have phone signal where you’re going
  • If you have no signal on your phone, find out if your mates do
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged before you go.
  • Make sure you have credit for making calls.



If you’re using pills, test each one first. Bite off a quarter, take that, and wait for the full effect before you take any more – so you have an idea of how strong it is, and whether it is what it’s supposed to be

If you’re sniffing powder, crush it as fine as possible, and wash your nostril with water (sniff a few drops off the end of your finger) after every line

Try not to use a lot of different drugs at the same time. Drugs that speed you up can make the heart beat so fast that it stops. Drugs that slow you down can slow the heart down so much that it stops. Taking several of one type at once greatly increases the chance of overdose and death. Taking different types at the same time puts a big strain on the heart – slowing it down and speeding it up both at the same time – which also increases the chance of death.

If you’re using LSD or magic mushrooms, make sure you stay with people you trust. Feeling anxious about your surroundings or the people in them can bring on paranoia and a bad trip. If your trip goes bad, it can stay bad for however long it lasts, which could be hours. It’s very hard to come out of a bad trip, and when they’re bad they can be terrifying. Be with people who will be kind and calm and help you ride it out.

If you’re using MDMA/ Ecstasy, avoid serotonin syndrome. These drugs cause the brain to be flooded with serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feeling good. Serotonin syndrome is when the flood is too big and the brain can’t handle it. It can be fatal. Avoid it by limiting yourself to just a few pills, and testing a small amount of every pill you take before taking the whole thing



Bad trip:

Take them away from all the noise, stop people from crowding round them, keep them quiet, be kind to them and reassure them; gently keep saying ‘you’re cool, it’s just the drugs, it will wear off’. Wait with them til it does (remember it might take hours). Do it in shifts, between you and your other mates.

Chest pain:

Take them away from the noise, sit them down, keep them still and wait with them. If the pain hasn’t stopped after 15 minutes, call an ambulance.


  • Reassure them – stay totally calm yourself (even if you don’t feel it!)
  • Keep saying ‘you’re fine, it’s just the drugs’
  • Try to keep them still – hold their arm or shoulder gently, look into their eyes, get them to focus on you
  • Get them to control their breathing, making their breaths long and deep. Count their breaths for them if that helps.

Fits/ Seizures:

  • Make the area around them safe – move things out of their way
  • Call an ambulance
  • Stay with them until the fit stops

Serotonin syndrome:

Signs of serotonin syndrome are rigid, jerky movements of the limbs; hugely dilated pupils; shaking, shivering and seeming to be agitated and confused.

  • Call an ambulance.


Gently try to wake them (shake their shoulder, call their name)

Check that they are breathing (place your hand on their chest to feel for it rising and falling as they breathe)

Check for bluish colouring in their lips or fingernails

If you can’t wake them, can’t feel breathing, or do see blueness, call an ambulance


Vomiting is what the body does to get rid of poison. If you’ve overdone it with drink or drugs, your body will recognise these as poisons and get rid of them by vomiting.

  • If a mate is vomiting, stay with them to make sure they don’t lose consciousness.
  • When they’ve stopped being sick, encourage them to drink a little water (don’t force them)
  • If they fall asleep, put them in the recovery position and stay with them.

April 2017


Everything you need to know about the drug that has already caused a spate of fatal overdoses. On Monday, detectives from the National Crime Agency and West Yorkshire Police raided what they described as a “laboratory” producing the highly deadly synthetic painkillers fentanyl and carfentanyl. Officers suspect it could be the source of drug batches behind a wave of deaths in the north of England over the last three months.

Whether it is in fact a Breaking Bad-type laboratory actually producing these highly dangerous chemicals, we are not so sure. It would be an ominous development if drug gangs are going to the trouble of making this stuff on UK soil. As has happened before with police busts, there’s a high chance this place isn’t a factory, but a distribution hub where drugs are prepared, cut and bagged up before being distributed to street sellers. However, whatever the exact situation here, these synthetic opioids are about as dangerous as it gets

Read the full article .

Feb 2017


Dolen bwcio am ein cynhadledd nesaf ym Mai / booking link for our next conference in May

The Drugaid Cymru Conference 2017 : Drug Related Deaths

Supported and subsidised by Welsh Government to bring you a world class conference at an affordable cost.

Focusing on how we tackle the harm caused by substance misuse across Wales, with Expert Speakers from across the U.K., Europe and The United States



Pregabalin is a prescription-only medication, usually used to treat conditions that cause nerve pain. It is also used to treat anxiety and, in combination with other medicines, to treat epilepsy (seizures).

Pregabalin has not been tested as safe for use with people under 18 years.

Pregabalin relaxes the body, slowing down the central nervous system.  Users may feel effects like light-headedness, relaxation, calmness, feeing ‘chilled’ and feeling drunk.

Be aware that

Pregabalin also has a range of not-so-nice effects. Some of these are mild and some are severe and serious. One of more of these might happen when you take Pregabalin:


  • Constipation
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • increased appetite
  • weight gain
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • weakness

Severe and serious (if you get any of these, get help immediately, preferably by calling 999)

  • swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue – these can cause suffocation and death
  • rash or itching – this might be the start of a severe allergic reaction, which can be fatal
  • difficulty breathing – this might also be the start of severe allergic reaction
  • tightness in the chest – so might this
  • unusual hoarseness – so might this
  • burning, numbness, or tingling – so might this
  • chest pain
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • shortness of breath or wheezing
  • fever or chills
  • persistent sore throat
  • inability to control when you pee
  • loss of coordination – unable to move your limbs the way you want to
  • tremor (uncontrollable shaking)
  • seizures
  • speaking problems
  • muscle aches, pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have fever)
  • new or unusual skin sores
  • reddened, blistered, swollen, or peeling skin
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • swelling of the hands, feet, or ankles
  • memory loss
  • confusion
  • new or worsening mental or mood changes (like anxiety, depression, restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts)
  • sudden, unexplained weight gain
  • trouble sleeping
  • severe or persistent tiredness or weakness

To be safer:

  • Take small amounts (no more than one) and wait to feel the full effect before topping up
  • Avoid taking it alone. Stick with your mates, so someone can get help if it goes wrong
  • Take it on its own; avoid mixing with other drugs, including alcohol
  • Pregabalin may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury
  • Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Tell your doctor if your poo starts to look dark, tarry, or bloody
  • Avoid if you’re taking any other medications or drugs
  • Avoid if you have any allergies
  • Avoid if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, muscle problems, diabetes, or bleeding problems
  • Avoid if you have kidney problems
  • Avoid if you have ever had mental health problems or mood problems (eg, depression), or suicidal thoughts
  • Avoid if you have ever had swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or unusual hoarseness
  • Avoid if you are taking any food supplements
  • Avoid if you are pregnant or planning to be
  • Avoid if you plan to father a baby
  • Avoid if you have diabetes


Pregabalin is a prescription-only medicine. It is legal to possess if you have a prescription for it, in your own name, from a doctor.

It is illegal to possess without your own prescription.

It is illegal to share, give away or sell your prescription.

It is illegal to buy Pregabalin from someone who has a prescription.

See our Young People, Drugs and the Law page for information about what might happen if you are found by the police to be carrying drugs.




December 2016

PMA in Ecstasy

You might hear it called things like Pink Ecstasy, Red Mitsubishi, PMMA

PMA has effects like Ecstasy but PMA is more poisonous and can kill at lower doses than E

Be aware that it

  • Takes longer than E to take effect – so has a high risk of overdose, because you top up, thinking it’s not working
  • Can cause a fatal rise in body temperature
  • Raises blood pressure and pulse rate higher than E does, and in very small doses – half or even quarter of a pill
  • Causes dehydration, which can be fatal

To be safer

  • Test the pill – take a quarter, and wait to feel the effects before taking more. It takes longer than E to come up, so try to wait an hour. Top up a quarter pill at a time. Wait every time
  • Avoid dehydration. Sip small sips of water regularly all night (about 1 pint per hour)
  • Avoid drinking a lot of water at once. This can cause brain damage and fatal internal drowning
  • Take breaks to cool down
  • Watch for signs of dehydration (dry mouth, dark pee, being unable to pee, dizziness, headache, irritability, confusion)
  • Avoid altogether if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, epilepsy or asthma



October 2016

‘Not so legal, not so high’ – An anonymous survey launched by Public Health Wales for 11- 25 years olds regarding New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). For a chance to win one of 12 ipods, just simply fill out the short survey.

June 2016

viewpoint logo

Choices West invited all young people who are 18 years or younger across Dyfed to complete a quick and easy survey to help us shape young people’s services across the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

By  participating in this survey you have helped us get a better picture of need across the region and have a chance at winning a new iPod Touch.

The survey is now closed and the iPod Touch went to a lucky winner at Ysgol  Maes y Gwendraeth

Big thanks to everyone who participated from everyone at Choices.

Please keep your eyes on our website for future competitions and opportunities to help us shape what we do.