THE dangers of drugs and addiction as well as mental health concerns, will be laid out to younger members of a Tyrone GAA club this week.
Kildress Wolfe Tones are appealing for parents to engage with the education events, which come in response to growing concerns and reported increases in drug use across rural communities in the county.
Similar high-profile events have been held in Pomeroy and Sixmilecross. Fears over hard drugs hit the headlines at the start of the year, when a teenager from the Pomeroy area was hospitalised after a suspected overdose.
Efforts to increase awareness and deliver education are continuing and this week the Kildress club will deliver talks to both girls and boys, right through from under-12 to minor age groups.
“Health and well-being in a fundamental part of the work that is carried out at Kildress Wolfe Tones,” said a club spokesperson. “Addictions and mental health issues are often overlooked, however we want to focus our attention to these areas.
“There has already been educational drug awareness talks delivered to our senior men and woman by 360 a voluntary organisation, drug and alcohol intervention team.
“Now we want to focus our attention to our youth and there has been further talks arranged for next week. Please can we ask parents to come on board with us and encourage your child to attend. Education is a vital part of prevention.”
The talks will be held on Tuesday and Thursday nights – more details can be found the club’s Facebook page.
Back in February, the dissident republican group Saoradh hosted a public meeting in Kildress to discuss the impact of drugs in the local community.
Meanwhile, the Fr Rock’s club in Cookstown hosted a successful public talk on depression and anxiety, featuring former Armagh star Oisin McConville and Antrim goal-keeper Chris Kerr.