Press Release

Minister Shortall opens Annual Work Conference of the Family Support Network

Róisín Shortall, T.D. Minister of State with responsibility for Primary Care at the Department of Health, today (Saturday, 5th November) opened the Annual Work Conference of the Family Support Network.

The Family Support Network supports the development of family support groups and networks throughout the island of Ireland. It raises awareness of the difficulties faced by families in coping with drug use while recognising the important role that families play in supporting the recovery of the drug using family member.

Speaking at the launch in Clondalkin, the Minister said “The Family Support Network continues to play a pivotal role in providing assistance and support to families affected by problem drug use. I am delighted that my Department continues to support the Family Support Network as the positive role of the family in the rehabilitation process cannot be understated.”

After the launch, the Minister of State outlined the developments in relation to advancing the National Substance Misuse Strategy which will incorporate alcohol and drugs. She stated that a cross-sectoral Steering Group will finalise its recommendations to her in the coming weeks. The Minister also reaffirmed her commitment to placing an increased emphasis on moving people on – where it is achievable – from drug treatment to a drug-free life – “Drug users must be afforded the opportunities to achieve a life without drugs”

The Minister concluded: “Families need help as they try to accept and cope with the problems arising from drugs misuse and they must be given all necessary support to assist their loved ones back into society. I fully recognise that families play a huge role in the recovery process and treatment outcomes. The Family Support Network continues to support such families, often when they have no where else to turn to.”