We provide non-judgemental support, guidance and education to drug users, their families and the community, enabling them to cope with and overcome the effects of drug use in their everyday lives. Drug use affects not just the drug user but the whole family. We recognise how drug use affects entire families and offer support to loved ones and parents whose children take drugs as well as supporting drug users to make the journey to recovery. Family members are encouraged to examine their own needs rather than just the needs of their child or loved one and to see themselves as individuals in their own right. Based on a philosophy of trust and understanding, we use strength-based approaches and services are orientated to enhance the service user’s self-esteem and ability to solve their own problems.
After the publication of two ministerial reports on drug use in 1996 and 1997, a number of areas were identified as having a major heroin problem. Ballyfermot was one of the areas in the greater Dublin area that was assessed as having a significant drug problem. Ballyfermot Local Drugs Taskforce initiated a number of consultation meetings in the public library in 1997. These meetings were to form the basis of the first Ballyfermot Drugs Taskforce Plan. From these beginnings a number of working groups were established.
Ballyfermot STAR grew out of this process. A number of local people expressed an interest in developing an initiative in response to heroin use and its impact on individuals, families and their community. A number of sub-groups of the Task Force came together in January 1998 to look at the way forward in relation to what was seen as a central objective of requiring a premises and delivering services to drug users and their families.