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Join the discussion about our illicit drugs strategy

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Members of the public are asked to register their interest to take part in a focus group on the 14 June, discussing how future policies can be shaped to reduce the harms from illicit drugs.

It’s part of the work being undertaken by Liverpool John Moore’s University for the Department of Home Affairs reviewing the harms caused by illicit drugs.

Interested individuals and community groups are asked to complete a short online form to register. From those that register, 30 will be invited to the focus group.

The group will be facilitated by researchers from Liverpool John Moore’s University, who will be gathering views and opinions from residents on how best to reduce harms and support those people affected by drug use – whether their own, or other people’s.

Researchers would ideally like to hear from representatives of community or neighbourhood groups, people who use or have used illicit drugs, or those who have been affected by someone’s drug use.

There are limited spaces to attend this focus group and attendees will be selected based on their response.

Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Jane Poole-Wilson MHK, said:

‘We’ve chosen to do this through registration because we have a limited capacity at the event, and because we want to ensure we’re talking to people from all areas of our community with different views and experiences. I would encourage as many people as possible to register their interest so we can have as representative as possible an attendance at the focus group.’

The focus group will run on a confidential basis to ensure a safe space for everyone attending. People who attend will be asked to respect the confidentiality of others who may be willing to self-disclose about any historic or current substance use.

Information from the focus group will be used as part of the review, which aims to assist in the development of policy and practice which will reduce harms to drug users, families and our society on a whole.

The focus group will take place on the evening of 14 June (5pm to 8pm).

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