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MWRDAF launches Drug and Alcohol QR (Quick Response) code to quickly access services in the Midwest



Drug and Alcohol QR -Pictured at the launch were Claire Kearns, Nurse for Students on Campus UL, Insp. Ollie Kennedy, Henry Street, Ríonach Power, Development Work Mid West Regional Drugs and Alcohol Forum, Sgt. Shane Davern, Community Policing, Henry Street, Michael Lacey, Chair Mid West Regional Drug and Alcohol Forum, Helen Ryan, Co-Ordinator, Mid West Regional Drug and Alcohol Forum and Mike Walsh, Team Leader CSMT. Picture: Alan Place.

The QR is a quick and discreet way of accessing information on drug and alcohol services

Sgt. Shane Davern, Community Policing, Henry Street and Claire Kearns, Nurse for Students on Campus UL. Picture: Alan Place.

At the first face-to-face meeting of the Midwest Regional Drugs and Alcohol Forum (MWRDAF) since Covid, Chairperson, Mick Lacey, formally launched a new MWRDAF poster and business. The MWRDAF is one of 10 Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Forces established in 2003 to support the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy at local level. It links people directly to the drug and alcohol support services available in the Midwest Region.

The MWRDAF Chairperson emphasised strongly the importance of linking people to support and networks while always maintaining the elements of collaboration and compassion. Mick Lacey said, “Many people may not be aware that there is free and confidential support available for people who are experiencing substance use problems. In the Midwest, we have a number of services to help people, no matter what they are using; to explore how and why they commenced or continue using. We also have services for families of those affected by a family member who continues to use. These supports can be of assistance and is of great benefit to individuals and families. Most services operate on an outreach basis, where meetings can be arranged in a venue that may feel more comfortable for individuals, rather than accessing a drug service directly. Making a call to any one of the services available will put a person on a pathway of support, and if your needs are better suited to another service, they will do that link up with your agreement.”


The initiative of using the Drug and Alcohol QR was developed from the MWRDAF 3rd Level Drug and Alcohol Network. It was proposed by Claire Kearns, Nurse Practice Manager with UL Student Health Centre, noting that students use their phones for almost everything. It is a quick and discreet way of accessing information. It has the benefit of being useful to the broader population also.

An Garda Siochana’s Sgt Shane Davern also welcomed the initiative. He said, “If a person comes to our attention while under the influence, there is a problem, so we welcome having the posters and cards available at Garda stations and with local Gardai, where people can find information on help and support if they want it.”

The MWRDAF Chairperson encouraged the promotion of the QR poster and cards throughout local communities, for persons in crisis, students,’ parents, family liaison professionals, schools and right across the broad spectrum of society. Mick Lacey thanked the 3rd Level Drug and Alcohol Network and MWRDAF staff who developed the initiative. They will now be responsible for keeping the information on drug and alcohol services in the Midwest updated on the MWRDAF website.

To access drugs and alcohol support services in the Midwest, go HERE

For more news stories, go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.