It is vital that measures are put in place to identify and support those fighting addiction, the DUP chairman of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership in Londonderry, Alderman Drew Thompson said this week.
Mr Thompson said he welcomed the decision by the Partnership to hold a public meeting on Thursday, August 28 to discuss the impact of substance abuse on families and communities and measures to counteract the negative impact it had. The meeting will take place at 7.30pm at St Columb’s Park House and is open to the public.
Mr Thompson said an inter-agency approach would be taken to the meeting and among those attending would be mothers bereaved by drug misuse.
“The event will be an opportunity for these women to relate the impact these deaths have had on their families and will be an opportunity for people to reflect on the impact that substance misuse has had,” said Mr Thompson.
“Issues in relation to drugs and so called ‘legal’ highs are a major concern at present for our residents and this public meeting will provide an opportunity for those agencies involved in providing support services to disseminate valuable information and advice.
“The meeting will also provide an opportunity to inform the wider community of the devastating impact that substance misuse can potentially have on individuals and families,” he said.
Mr Thompson added: “I believe it is vital that we identify and set in place a set of measures to help those who have problems with addiction due to drug and alcohol abuse.
“It is very important that we hear first hand from adults and people who have experienced what drug and alcohol abuse can do in families and in communities.
“Given the recent drug paraphernalia finds in the Waterside, it is timely and important that we get the message out that there are issues and problems related to drug abuse that directly effect the community.
“It is hugely important that this issue is dealt with for the health and wellbeing of our young people,” he said.