Following are messages of support we have received for the International Family Drug Support Day.
FSDP USATony, our families are greatly appreciative of your work representing the voice of the family in demanding the stigma-free support and services we deserve. Your vision, leadership, and determination is an inspiration to me and I am exceedingly grateful for your generosity and friendship. Team FSDP and the FSDP community look forward to our collaborations in the future to help families cope better with the impact of substance use.
Barry Lessin – FSDP USA
Families for Sensible Drug PolicyIn the spirit of bringing families and communities together, FSDP is delighted to announce our collaboration with pioneer and visionary Tony Trimingham of Australia to bring his model of Family Drug Support to the United States. As many of you may know, Tony lost his vibrant and beloved son Damien to drug overdose in 1997 and was inspired to create a new paradigm of support with the family’s needs in mind. Open to everyone, this non-judgmental program has been widely acclaimed and provides opportunities for family members to meet in a non-judgmental, safe environment to talk, listen and share their journeys.
As the founders of FSDP Barry Lessin and I are committed to serving the needs of our families by honoring the legacy of those who have been lost to preventable overdose while supporting a harm reduction informed continuum of care for those who may still be at risk. We remain inspired by our growing circle of friends and partners around the world and we thank you for your ongoing collaboration and perspectives.
On a personal note, I wish to thank this amazing community of heart connections for all of the phenomenal support, love and connection bestowed upon me after enduring the tragic loss of my own beautiful children, Bryan and Alex to overdose, only one year apart. Your personal stories and presence in my life have been an invaluable source of strength and resilience and words cannot express how much how deeply I appreciate each gesture of kindness and compassion. My New Years resolution is to embrace our path forward and make 2018 the year that our families are empowered, recognized and supported in their rightful place as advocates who can and will make all the difference by saving lives in 2018! Much love and light to all!
Yours in Solidarity and Peace,
Barry and Carol
Team Families for Sensible Drug Policy
FDS - My SaviourI started attending FDS meetings in November after being at my wits end with concern for my son, who has been using drugs & alcohol for 12 years. I never miss a meeting, they are my drug of addiction. I have learnt so much, so my son has benefited, as I have been able to change words I use & put learnt strategies into place. The amount of information I have been given verbally, via the website & in printed form via magazines & booklets, has been excellent. My house is a home again. Thank you Tony & all at FDS.
hope the day goes wellhope the day goes well - Will be heading to Canada the next day so unable to travel to be at a venue.
If anyone is the Byron Shire or thereabouts pleas check FDS website for meeting dates - hope to see you there! M
My storyMy name is Catherine. A month ago on 5th Jan my husband committed suicide. He was a young music artist who was about to blow up in a big way worldwide because of his amazing talent, he was a father of our four year old son who was about to start Kinder, he was a twin brother to my sister in law and he was my husband. But he was addicted to Ice and the effects his drug use had on his behaviour, his health, and his mental state destroyed our family and took his life.
On several occasions we tried to get him help. We called the police too many times to count with no results. We tried to get him into rehab but there was no space available to him. We later tried to get him help with his mental health and again he was prescribed a week’s worth of anti-depressants and shown the door.
On all occasions we as a family were not engaged by the very services set up and funded to help people in his situation, even though we pushed and pushed to be heard and to be part of the process. I as his wife was told by a case worker that my husband had convinced her mental health service team that he was not on drugs, and his only concerns were about our relationship and that we should get relationship counselling before they closed his case and sent him on his way to his GP with a mental health plan. Three months later he committed suicide on Ice.
My husband would be here today if he had received proper treatment. He would be here if we as a family were engaged and treated with dignity by public funded services who seem to think people effected by drug abuse and mental illness exist in isolation.
I was forwarded details about the National Family Drug Support Day by a colleague and for the first time since my husband's death I felt some hope that perhaps something is being done out there for families like mine and perhaps future lives can be saved through initiatives like this.