Pastoral Response to Substance Misuse is an initiative of Irish Episcopal Conference. The drugs initiative was established in 1997 to allow the Church to play her part in responding to the increasing problems of alcohol and drug misuse in Irish society. We also strive to remember that it is part of our call as Church to be our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers, and a small response at parish level is a caring pastoral way of safeguarding our young people, family and community from the harms that can be caused by drug and alcohol misuse.

In the early days, the initiative organised a number of conferences and produced a number of publications such as “Beyond Maintence, Breaking the Silence and Faith Response to Street Drugs” In 2006, the Initiative with the support of the National Drug Strategy set up our Pastoral Response to Substance Misuse. The project use’s the unique parish and diocesan structures to access the wider communities that may be difficult for other services to access.
These structures were found to be ideally placed to gauge and respond to local gaps and needs in primary and secondary prevention. Parish communities, in partnership with voluntary, community and statutory agencies, can work together locally to identify and help prevent or address issues pertinent to substance misuse.

Over the past number of years the initiative has held an annual national conference, produced publications titled Alcohol / Drugs, Parishes Respond, Alcohol in Moderation as well as a number of DVD’s on alcohol and the formation of parish pastoral responses.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]