Events were held in parliaments around the country, as well as community centres and other venues. All the events recognized the importance of working with families and the need to protect from harm.
As Tony Trimingham has stated on many occasions – “If there is one thing that all families want, it is to see their children not pay the ultimate price for using drugs. No-one can fix the pain of losing a child and we will use all our energy to try and keep our children alive with the introduction of humane and compassionate policies.”
Family Drug Support was particularly encouraged to hear politicians at events speak of their understanding to support harm reduction policies and programs. The funding announcements by many Governments on the day were a demonstration of this growing commitment.
The announcement by the Victorian Government to subsidise naloxone (the overdose-reversing medication) and provide training to families was very welcome and was a testament to the work of drug and alcohol sector, families and user groups in achieving this outcome. Family Drug Support especially hopes that organisations with the experience and empathy needed to work with families will be engaged by the Victorian Government to provide this training and support.
Tony Trimingham added – “I am so pleased to say that from 2018 the day will be known as International Family Drug Support Day in recognition of the events this year held in the USA, Macau, Hong Kong and Pakistan. Our colleagues in these countries work just as hard as we do to help and support families and we expect many more countries to participate from next year”.
Family Drug Support in particular would like to thank the many supporting organisations that participated on the day and most importantly the sponsors that made the event such a success:
• NSW Government
• Qld Government
• Qld Mental Health Commission
• Ogilvy CommonHealth
• Australian Drug Foundation
• We Help Ourselves
• Ted Noffs Foundation
Mr Trimingham concluded, “National Family Drug Support Day should become an important day in everyone’s calendar. It is in all our interests to reflect on the changes that will reduce the impact of drug and alcohol use on individuals, families and the wider society.”
The National Family Drug Support Day initiative is hoping to raise awareness of the services and the help that is needed for families, reduce the stigma and discrimination for families and people who use drugs and promote harm reduction strategies for families and friends.
For further information contact:
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