24 February 2018
24 February 2018
International Family Drug Support Day 2018
‘Support the Family – Improve the Outcome’
|A Five Point Plan and New Online Service for Families|
International Family Drug Support Day is being recognized this weekend all around Australia and at a special event in Federal Parliament on Monday 26th February. The annual day is also being marked with many events across the globe.
The 24th of February, 2018, is the 21st anniversary of the death of Tony Trimingham’s son Damien from a heroin overdose in 1997 – the primary motivation behind his tireless work in the service he founded, Family Drug Support (FDS) and the inspiration for International Family Drug Support Day.
With a 2018 theme of ‘Support the Family – Improve the Outcome’ Mr Trimingham has outlined a clear 5-point plan for Governments to address the unnecessary harm and tragedies caused by drugs:
- Decriminalize the personal possession and use of small quantities of drugs so people using drugs can seek help without fear of prosecution;
- Introduce evidence based policies and programs that reduce the likelihood of harm for people using drugs – this includes safe injection facilities, prescription heroin programs and pill testing services;
- Dramatically increase the level of funding for treatment services – it is distressing for families to know that despite all the evidence, so much more funding is provided to arrest and punish their children and friends who are using drugs than to provide access to education, prevention, treatment and harm reduction services;
- Dramatically increase the level of funding to support families – governments must simply ensure that families are able to access the support they need;
- Develop and implement a campaign to reduce the stigma and discrimination for families and drug users – similar to the recent success we have seen for people with mental health issues.
International Family Drug Support Day is also the backdrop for the release of an exciting new online service for families - the first of its kind in Australia. Family Drug Support Online is a Readymade Productions initiative, produced in close collaboration with Family Drug Support (FDS). An Australian first, the interactive film-based resource is particularly designed
to provide online support for families and friends who are unable to access family support groups in person. The resource was produced with financial support from the Commonwealth Department of Health through the National Ice Action Strategy.
Family Drug Support Online centres on documentary film of family support group meetings, delivered as a series of chapters which combined run over seventy-five minutes. The support group is led by FDS CEO, Tony Trimingham OAM and includes educative, skills-based material from FDS’ “Stepping Stones” program. Watching the material, visitors to the site learn as the group participants learn, and reflect as they reflect. It is an immersive experience – one that also helps visitors to engage with professional counselling and support services. The 24/7 FDS Support Line number is prominent on every page of the website.
The resource is live and freely accessible at www.fdsonline.org.au and is designed to be accessible via any web connected device, including mobiles and tablets.
For a short video trailer see: www.readymade.com.au/fds
While the formal launch of the resource is in Parliament House, Canberra on Monday 26 February, 2018, the site has been live for several months and has already received more than three and a half thousand visits. The comments via the site’s feedback loop have been overwhelmingly positive. The vast majority of visitors found the website “Very Helpful” and felt “Better” or “Much Better” able to cope after working through the video chapters.
Mr Trimingham in particular wanted to thank the many sponsors and supporters that are helping mark the date and supporting families.
For media enquiries please contact Mr Trimingham on 0412-414-444
About the Family Drug Support Service
• Established by Tony Trimingham in 1997, Family Drug Support volunteers take around 33,000 calls to their support line every year.
• The Service provides 24/7 support (Phone: 1300 368186) and support groups in capital cities and a growing number of regional centres.
• FDS also offers the Stepping Stones course for families/friends supporting someone with drug and/or alcohol problems.
• For more information, visit the website www.fds.org.au
About Readymade Productions
Readymade Productions specialises in creating film-based interactive wellbeing programs that are codesigned with, and feature, people with direct lived experience with the issues the programs help to address. For more information, please visit: www.readymade.com.au
24/7 National Toll Free Family Support Line
1300 368 186