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.