Reach Out 2023 - Free Event Sheds Light on Stigma For Families

Reach Out 2023 - Free Event Sheds Light on Stigma For Families

Research suggests that for every person struggling with drug and alcohol misuse, at least five others are profoundly affected. Unfortunately, the associated stigma often leaves those dealing with a loved one's substance dependency feeling isolated and unsupported. To counter this, the Reach Out conference will feature guest speakers sharing their personal experiences of living with family members who misuses drugs or alcohol.

  • Personal testimonies
  • Interactive panel discussion
  • Afternoon refreshments

The conference provides a safe and inclusive space for attendees to connect with others facing similar situations while offering inspiring stories of resilience and practical coping strategies.

Chief Inspector Ronnie Lungu, who is actively involved with DHI in the community, will participate in a panel discussion on harm reduction and the life-saving properties of naloxone. Naloxone is an emergency medicine that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, providing critical time for individuals to receive vital treatment. Avon and Somerset Police recently partnered with DHI to train their officers in naloxone administration. Ronnie said: “We are wholly committed to working with all our partner agencies and organisations, to reduce the harm caused by illegal drugs in our communities. Encouraging families and carers of loved ones who use substances to talk openly about issues faced and be supported by practical advice is invaluable.’’

Chief executive Rosie Phillips said: “Problems with drugs and alcohol affect many people, no matter what their background, job, family situation, or income is. Inexplicably there is still significant stigma attached to the families and carers of those who misuse drugs or alcohol, and many suffer anxiety, depression and poor health because of the stresses and strains in their lives. Too often they suffer in silence.

"We need to challenge these stereo types and provoke people to think differently."

Ian, who has been supported by DHI’s family service, said: “DHI and the FAM Service has helped my wife and I to understand and learn about addiction and gain the skills needed to cope with the day-to-day crisis of the impact that entails. Taking the spotlight off them, turning it back on us, helped us to focus on our needs. Thus, enabling us to support and nurture ourselves and our boys, better."

The Reach Out conference is on Thursday, 15 June, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm at the Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham.

Sign up for the event, here.

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