The principal activity of Bristol Drugs Project is to reduce alcohol and drug-related harm; our mission statement reflects our emphasis on changing behaviour:
Alcohol and drug problems damage individuals, families and communities. Bristol Drugs Project is reducing harm, promoting change, challenging prejudice and maximising people's potential.
Bdp was the brainchild of a number of probation officers who saw a need and designed a service to respond to it. A wide range of other individuals and specifically ex-drug users became involved in its development. In 1984 Avon had no specialist services for people with a drug problem, and indeed, believed it had no such problem. Funding was secured in 1985 from the then DHSS. A coordinator was appointed in November 1985 and the service, located in the City Centre, opened on the 10th March 1986 with a team of four full-time and one part-time staff.
Bdp is an independent agency delivering accessible and confidential information, advice and services to drug and alcohol misusers, their relatives and friends and to other professionals working with drug misusers.
Bdp deals with problems related to the use of solvents and prescribed drugs in addition to the wide range of illicit drugs.
The term 'harm reduction' is central to Bdp's work and is defined as 'a reduction of factors which inhibit functioning': these encompass an individual's health, relationships, environment e.g. housing, financial and legal situation.
In practice, this means that Bdp will work with people towards goals which are other than (but include) abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Bdp enables people to achieve their goals by utilising whichever model of addiction has the most meaning for that individual and, as such, does not promote any single method of treatment.