The Family Addiction Support Network was delighted to launch the report on its recently commissioned research “A study on how families are affected by substance misuse in the North East Region of Ireland “on the 14th May 2019 at 9.30am at the Carnbeg Hotel, Armagh Road, Dundalk.

The report was launched by Minister for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD and was attended by local representatives and other service providers from both the Statutory and Community and Voluntary Sector and many of the Families severely impacted by the addiction of a loved one.

A key backdrop to the study is the National Drug Strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery, which for the first-time included families as service users in their own right. The interface between changes in social policy and families has a long and chequered history in Ireland.

This study is the first to look at the inter-face within the context of adult family members affected by substance mis-use in the North East Region of Ireland. It is also driven by the narrative of families, valued as “experts by experience” and gives voice to the chaos, trauma and distress visited on families impacted by addiction of a family member.

Going forward the key findings of this study will hopefully help formulate changes in service provision and practice that will improve the opportunities for families to engage meaningfully with their own recovery and wellbeing.

Launching the report, Minister Byrne said;

“This report serves to improve awareness and understanding of how substance misuse can affect family members and where they can go for help and support in their local community.

The Family Addiction Support Network plays an important role in supporting families in the North East, and I commend them for their work in this area and for commissioning this important research.”

If anyone would like to contact the Family Addiction Support Network, details below:

Phone Numbers: 0429355251/0879046405

Email Address: info.fasn@gmail.com

Background information

The Family Addiction Support Network aims to assist families in the North East of Ireland achieve a greater understanding of the impact of addiction, help them improve their quality of life and help them fulfil a positive role in the recovery of their loved one, should they choose to take it.

We are dedicated to developing, supporting and reinforcing the work of peer family support groups. By operating from strong community development principles we actively promote the inclusion, participation and empowerment of our members. We represent the collective voice of families to raise awareness of associated problems of substance misuse and work for positive change in policy and practice for family members affected by addictive behaviour.

Aims

1. To provide services to Families to improve their quality of life.
2. To provide a quality service through best practice.
3. To network with Family Support Groups and Agencies locally, regionally and nationally.

Objectives

The principle objectives of the FASN are:

•Provision of services to families affected by a loved one’s addiction to promote and protect health and wellbeing
•Develop and build the capacity of the Family Addiction Support Network
•To network with Family Support Groups, establish contacts, form partnerships and provide an Annual Service of Commemoration
•Support and development of Family Support Peer Led Groups

Staffing

The network at present has one part-time voluntary Project Coordinator, one part time Family Support Coordinator and a part time administrator C.E. Scheme,(currently awaiting a new placement) based in the The Hub, Lios Dubh, Dundalk, Co. Louth. These members carry out the work outlined in the plan with the support of volunteers and management committee.

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