Annual drug and alcohol awareness week goes ahead online

Annual drug and alcohol awareness week goes ahead online

OVER 20 online events will take place when the annual Western Region Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week goes ahead online from November 16th to 20th despite COVID-19 restrictions.

The schedule for the virtual week includes lunchtime winter wellness events, self-care and coping workshops, a webinar about a remarkable Icelandic leisure card scheme for young people, a success in sport webinar and a host of other relevant events.

All events are free of charge and almost all are open to the public.

“It is well documented the distress and destabilising effect caused by addiction to the family unit during the COVID-19 lockdown. Awareness Week aims to enhance support for individuals and family members living with such distress,” said Joe O’Neill, Chairperson of the Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force (WRDATF).

“Awareness Week showcases the numerous targeted interventions carried out by the WRDATF, and to raise awareness among the community of the harms caused by the misuse of illicit substances and/or alcohol. It reflects the commitment of the Task Force to supporting users and their family members affected by substance misuse.”

The full programme of events is published on WRDATF  and places can be booked by emailing

“The week emphasises the need to support communities due to the stress and chaos that substance misuse has on communities and families in the west of Ireland,” said Michéal Durcan, WRDATF coordinator.

“Children, parents, carers, siblings, and extended family members are impacted by substance misuse and we must develop targeted prevention, intervention and ancillary supports for them. We hope this week helps people who need help interventions currently available within the region”.

WRDATF was established in 2003 as a regional multi-agency approach to reducing alcohol and other drug related harms.

The full list of events is as follows – all take place on Zoom:

Monday, November 16th:

  • 11am: European Drug Report 2020, webinar.
  • 1pm: Lunchtime Winter Wellness.
  • 2pm: Everything has Changed: Adapting and delivering services during COVID-19.
  • 9pm: Mindful Moments.


Tuesday, 17th:

  • 10.30am: Self-care and Coping in a Modern World.
  • 11am: Ketamine: A short webinar.
  • 11.30am: Drug & Alcohol Awareness event (closed event).
  • 1pm: Lunchtime Winter Wellness.
  • 2pm: Putting the Pieces Together (training event).
  • 9pm: Mindful Moments.


Wednesday, 18th:

  • 10am: Launch of an information pilot programme for family members affected by drug and alcohol misuse. Promotional Workshop.
  • 11am: Nitrous Oxide: A short webinar.
  • 1pm: Lunchtime Winter Wellness.
  • 4pm: NUI Galway – On Drugs. The aim of the event is to raise awareness and enable participants to give their input to policy and practice.
  • 7pm: Oíche an Chlub & Success in Sport webinar, co-hosted by Ballina Stephenites GAA Club Healthy Club committee and WRDATF. Includes public interview with sports figures Liam McHale and Deora Marsh.
  • 9pm: Mindful Moments.

Thursday, 19th:

  • 10am: Alcohol Related Brain Injury Workshop.
  • 11am: Ecstasy: A short webinar.
  • 11am: Time for Me: 20 minutes of mindfulness.
  • 1pm: Lunchtime Winter Wellness.
  • 2pm:, the amazing Icelandic Leisurecard scheme, a webinar for all parents.
  • 7pm: Launch of Foundation 4 Life Review Report and Programme Guide.
  • 9pm: Mindful Moments.

Friday, 20th:

  • 10am: Galway City Alcohol Forum: Getting the Message Across: Reducing Exposure of Children to Alcohol Related Harm.
  • 11am: Drugs Market and COVID-19, a short webinar.
  • 1pm: Lunchtime Winter Wellness.
  • 2pm: Prime for Life ‘Future Perspectives’.


To book a place click HERE

Details of other Regional Awareness Week events will be circulated shortly and most can be booked on the website

We hope you can join us for some of these events this week.

More on Parenting & Family Support Services HERE
More on Substance Misuse & Addiction HERE
More on Children & Young People Support HERE
More on Child Protection HERE