New handbook helps tackle Tipperary family members’ drug and alcohol addiction problems

Photographed at the launch of the SER Family Support Network's Information Handbook at the Town Hall Clonmel are Back row: Cllr Gabrielle Egan, Cllr Joe Brennan, Tina Condon, Raymond Farrell, Rena Greene, Cllr Joe Leahy. Front row: Mayor of Clonmel Cllr Billy Shoer, Breda Fell, South East Regional Family Support Network and Cllr John Crosse, Chairman South Tipperary County Council.
A new information handbook supporting Tipperary families dealing with loved ones suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction is now available from Family Support Network branches around the county.

A new information handbook supporting Tipperary families dealing with loved ones suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction is now available from Family Support Network branches around the county.

Breda Fell of the South East Regional Family Support Networks said the information and guidance provided in the Family Information and Support Handbook is based on the experience of families, who have encountered this problem.

She said the handbook aimed to help families to realise they are not alone in feeling this way, be more informed, feel more confident in dealing with their situation and identify and take up the available supports.

“If you are a parent or family member of someone misusing drugs or alcohol you may feel confused and unable to cope. By picking up this handbook you have taken the first step to help yourself.

“Help for yourself can help the whole family. The information and guidance provided in this handbook is based on the experience of other family members so you are not alone”.

The handbook was officially launched recently by Mayor of Clonmel Billy Shoer at Clonmel Town Hall.

The event was attended a large number of family members, who have gone through the trauma of a relative struggling with a substance or alcohol addiction.

Cllr Shoer praised the Family Support Network for their work in supporting families and he commended the development of the handbook, which he recommended to all the services in Clonmel.

South Tipperary Co. Council Chairman John Crosse joined all the councillors and public representatives present in praising the efforts of all involved.

Breda Fell said the attendance at the launch showed the willingness of the services in Clonmel and South Tipperary to co-ordinate and collaborate in order to help family members.

She encouraged families of people with drug and alcohol addictions to get involved in a peer family support group. It was a safe, confidential and non-judgemental group for family members of drug users where they can come together to discuss common issues in relation to dealing with drug use within their families.

She praised the generosity of spirit of family members, who continue to support and develop peer family support groups in south and mid-Tipperary.

“Supporting other families in similar situations is undoubtedly the key element of peer support. To continue that vital support, resources are needed at local and regional level”, she added.

Tina, a facilitator of the Clonmel family support group, read a very moving poem at the handbook launch. It was written specially for the occasion about her experience of finding out about her son’s addiction.

She described the struggles the family went through, the grief and the shame, and how she found the family support group. Tina described how learning through family support has given her the courage to accomplish so many things that helped her whole family.

Anyone wishing to get a copy of the handbook or find out more about the South East Regional Family Support Network should contact Breda Fell at (051) 312010 or 086 6045805; the Clonmel Family Support Group at (052) 6189381/086 8557212; Carrick-on-Suir Family Support Group and Mid-Tipperary Family Support at (062) 62824/ (087) 6188075.