‘Vital’ local drugs service suspended

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A “vital” drug and alcohol treatment service operating in the Limavady borough for the last four years has been forced to suspend its services due to a lack of funding.

Derry City charity HURT extended its counselling and support services in Limavady in 2008, and subsequently in Dungiven, after it received funding.

HURT project co-ordinator Sadie O’Reilly, said prior to the service being extended to the Roe Valley there was little support for users and their families dealing with drug or alcohol abuse.

Up until April of this year, when the funding period ran out, HURT operated two days a week in the borough, from 9am-3.30pm and would have seen an average of 10-16 clients each week, including users, their families and referrals from other agencies.

“It was vitally important for the user and their family,” Ms O’Reilly told the ‘Journal’ yesterday.

“A lot of people don’t know what addiction is until it comes to their doorstep and they have to deal with it, so it was vitally important for carers worried about their loved ones.”

Cutting the programme in April is “a big loss” to the Roe Valley, she said.

“We couldn’t get any funding to continue it,” she said, explaining HURT did meet with statutory agencies to discuss the matter.

“What we provided in Derry we provided the same in Limavady, a first class service, so it must be a huge loss, but finding the funding is what it’s down to.

“There is such a need for it in Limavady because there are so many young people, middle aged people and families that are suffering and need help.”

Ms O’Reilly said if statutory agencies want the service to be re-introduced in the Limavady borough, HURT would do its best to seek funding, but added: “We need
support.

“We had a free service for four years and we are very saddened to see services suspended, but we are actively trying to source funding that would allow us to re-establish the service and would be hopeful of support from statutory agencies and local politicians.”