Sinn Féin TD for Louth Ruairí Ó Murchú has said that the Family Addiction Support Network (FASN) must be adequately resourced by the next government and that the drugs crisis must be addressed at cabinet level.
Teachta Ó Murchú commented at an event hosted by the Family Addiction Support Network on 24th February to mark International Family Drug Support Day.
“I have been working with the FASN for a number of years and the work they do with families is incredible.
“Unfortunately previous governments have underfunded this service and curtailed its excellent work.
“The next government must get to grips with the drugs epidemic. It requires a whole of government approach and there must be a Minister at the Cabinet table with responsibility for drugs.
“FASN is the only voluntary service in Louth which works with the family members of people suffering addiction, rather than the person in addiction.
“Not only do these families endure the chaos of their loved one’s addiction and manage the effects of that on the extended family, they are often the subject of intimidation by drug dealers themselves.
“Currently FASN provides the following services;
– 24/7 Out of Hours Telephone Helpline
– 1-1 Support
– Peer Group Support
– Access to Counselling
– Access to Respite
– Educational Programme
– Assistance with Drugs Intimidation Reporting
“They do all of this while only receiving funding of €7500 per annum. This is not sustainable.
“The Family Addiction Support Network have prepared a budget which indicates that all of their services across four counties can be provided for little over €100,000 per year.
“Chief Superintendent for Louth Christy Mangan also addressed today’s event. He said that the scale of the drug problem in Louth is such that even the recent 20 kilo cocaine seizure, worth €1.4 million, had no material impact on the availability of drugs in this area.
“He also said that drug dealers are targeting ever younger children to get them involved in the drugs market. Initially drugs are given on credit so inevitably debts are incurred and young people are then trapped by these gangs.
“The Chief Super stated that he will support any calls for funding. I welcome this and I intend to raise this funding crisis with the next government.”