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Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week highlights Mayo’s plight

Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week highlights Mayo’s plight, aims to tackle issue

Raising awareness
Anton McNulty

Ireland’s cultural reliance on alcohol and other drugs will be put under the spotlight during the first Mayo Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs from November 7 to 11. Over the five days, a series of activities and information events will examine attitudes to alcohol and drug use in the county; explore the link between mental health, suicide and drugs and alcohol; and provide suggestions on ways to enjoy life without alcohol and alcohol misuse.
A report published by the Health Research Board last July found that Mayo came out worst in Ireland in alcohol-related deaths and deaths among people who were alcohol dependent. Mayo was almost three times higher than the rate in neighbouring counties. Dr Suzi Lyons, author of the report and senior researcher with the Health Research Board, will be one of the main speakers at Sláinte, a seminar to explore the relationship between Irish culture and alcohol, which will take place on Thursday, November 10, in Hotel Ballina.
Other events during the week include the launch of ‘Teen Scene: 5 Stages of Drunkenness’, a DVD by Fóroige NYP Ballina at Ballina Arts Centre on Tuesday, November 8; Flawless, an alcohol and drug-free night out, GMIT Castlebar, Tuesday, November 8; ‘Candle of Hope’, solidarity with families touched by addiction, Holy Rosary Church, Castlebar, on Thursday, November 10; ‘Irish Culture and Alcohol: Is there a problem?’, a Fifth Year Public Speaking Project at St Joseph’s Secondary School, Foxford, on Friday, November 11; and ‘Wasted’, a drama sketch about the effects of alcohol on those around us, presented by members of the Maple Youth Centre, Ballinrobe on Friday, November 11.

For information about these and other Mayo Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week events, contact Pat Conway, community liaison officer, South West Mayo Development Company, on 087 7400011.

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