DRUG and alcohol charity Breakthru, which services the Dungannon area, are striving to raise public awareness following a worrying pattern of drug related issues in the town.
Working in partnership with several organisations, they are officially opening a new drop-in facility in The Square this month.
Breakthru’s manager, Bernie Mc Hugh said: “The Breakthru Drop-in Centre is open to the public during the day, in the evening and will coincide with school finishing time to accommodate young people.
“It is basically a place to have bit of fun and young people will be able to come in and get information on drugs and alcohol and other health related issues in a safe environment.
“We are finalising our Autumn programme of projects and events which will include DVD nights and music nights and these will be open to anyone from Dungannon and surrounding areas.”
She added: “Drug and Alcohol issues are prevalent in society and now is the time to have an information base that young people can use that will make it easy for them to learn about the effects of drugs and alcohol.
“This centre is a place for the whole community where they can get accurate up-to-date information in confidence.”
Local politicians, worried about the effects of drugs on the community, have praised Breakthru’s new initiative.
DUP MLA, Lord Morrow said: “This further facility being offered by Breakthru is not only much welcomed but very much required. “Building on the excellent work Breakthru do, this will enable more people to access help and provide a major stepping-stone for those struggling to conquer an addiction.
“I commend Breakthru on the work they have done and I am positive that will be echoed throughout the community.
“They have provided a lifeline when there was little or no hope and continue to provide that invaluable support through recovery.
Sinn Fein MLA, Nuala McLernon said: “I would like to pay tribute to the Breakthru staff in opening this centre and offering hope to people.”
“There is a major problem in modern society with the abuse of drugs whether legal or illegal and actually finding somewhere to get information can be part of that problem.
“This new Breakthru Centre will allow people to walk in and get help and advice.
“This service will also be a huge comfort to families of people addicted to drugs, as they also need information in how to identify and help drug abusers.
“We need to work together as a society in tackling the scourge of drug abuse and this includes law enforcement, health treatment and community support.
“I would appeal to those people who are suffering from drug addiction to seek help and those involved in the drug trade to stop and think of the consequences of what they are doing as many of these people are victims of more unscrupulous people as well.
Mrs Mc Hugh added: “Anyone with any concerns can drop in and speak to staff or contact Breakthru on 028 8775 3228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”