REHAB AND RECOVERY charity CAIS showcased its inspiring work in Wales when the UK Home Secretary visited its Llandudno headquarters.
Priti Patel joined chief executive Clive Wolfendale for a wide-ranging discussion on the opportunities presented by the effective rehabilitation of offenders, drug and alcohol policy, and the hope offered by supported recovery.
CAIS operates a comprehensive suite of services dedicated to rehabilitation, plus programmes designed to address the underlying causes of offending – which often include patterns of substance misuse, mental illness and trauma.
Ms Patel also met CAIS director of recovery services Naomii Oakley and Cyfle Cymru lead peer mentor Larry Marsden – both of whom have lived experience of substance misuse and associated challenges.
Following the visit, Mr Wolfendale said it had been a pleasure to welcome the Home Secretary for a “long and detailed” discussion.
“It was great to hear her express support for recovery, and to see her listen closely to our arguments in support of the principles and economics of effective rehab and treatment services,” he said.
“We also addressed the short-term nature of current commissioning cycles, the wider societal cost of addiction and dependency, and ongoing closures of specialist rehab and treatment units throughout the UK.”
Mr Wolfendale, a former Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales Police, also called for stronger messages on the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse.
“There is no single or easy answer to dealing with the drug problem – but our response must include both robust enforcement to tackle the most ruthless criminal gangs and sympathetic, effective and well-funded treatment,” he said.
“We look forward to continuing our discussions with policymakers from across the spectrum in London and Cardiff over the coming months and years. These matters must be brought higher up the political agenda.”
The Home Secretary was accompanied on her visit by prospective parliamentary candidate for Aberconwy Robin Millar.