Health MInister Wells Says We All Have Roll To Play In Fighting Drugs And Alcohol Addictions

We all have a responsibility to tackle alcohol and drug addiction says Jim Wells, South Down MLA and the new Health Minister.

That was the key message from Health Minister Jim Wells as he visited the Cuan Mhuire centre for individuals suffering from addiction and other related issues.

dn_screenCuan Mhuire near Newry was founded in 1966. It is a registered charity and has its own programme, developed by Sr. Consilio and her staff over the last 40 years, which understands the challenges faced by alcoholics and addicts as they struggle to get clean and sober.

The Minister said: “I just want to formally place on record today my thanks for the good work undertaken by Cuan Mhuire, and various other community and voluntary sector organisations around Northern Ireland, supporting us to prevent and address the harm caused by substance misuse.

“Alcohol and drug misuse continue to place a strain on our already over-stretched health service. Worryingly, in 2013, provisional figures show that 236 people died directly as a result of alcohol misuse with a further 115 deaths related to drugs.

“These figures are too high.

“We all have a responsibility to address the issues surrounding alcohol and drug misuse whether from a personal or familial point of view. Please do not be afraid to ask for help for yourself or even on behalf of a friend or a loved one. Support is readily available from the health service and in the community and voluntary sector.”

During the visit the Minister planted a tree in the campus to reflect Cuan Mhuire’s mission to promote healing and growth.

The Minister added: “Addiction can have a devastating effect on not only the individual directly but on their families and friends as well. Too many lives have been lost to addiction and many a family broken by it.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Sister Consilio, and all the staff and volunteers at Cuan Mhuire, for their unwavering spirit, determination and commitment to this issue.”