Matt Talbot – Citizen’s Assembly Submission – June 2023

Matt Talbot Community Trust are a Community Education Programme working with adults in recovery from addiction. This submission is a culmination of a series of discussions with a group with lived experience of addiction and drug use discussing the remit of the Citizen’s Assembly on Drug Use.

In this video they address the question – what can be done by the State to reduce the harm of illicit drug use to the individuals, families, communities and the wider community. The group discussed many aspects, in this video they discuss the key points that they felt impacted them most including decriminalisation, support for women in accessing services and access to treatment and rehabilitation. The video can be found at . The discussions in general were solution focused and one of the solutions that the group intend to implement is a women’s “walk and talk” group offering peer to peer support. Its aim is to reduce the fear, stigma and isolation experienced by women affected by addiction and to encourage them to access services in a non-judgmental environment where they feel safe and supported. This group will be peer led and open to all women to join. This is one of a number of suggestions that the participants in Matt Talbot Community Trust will focus their thinking on over the coming months. The most important outcome to these discussion is that we have solutions at local level. What we need is for our Government to listen and be prepared to recognise that lived experience has to be acknowledged in how policy is developed and reflected in how drug programmes are funded.

All participants have given their permission to share this recording

Please view the video using this link and QR code