Young people reveal their experiences in battling drugs

By Maurice Garvey

SUBSTANCE abuse has had a devastating impact in parts of Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard.

In recent years, many residents, including a disturbing number of young mothers, have lost their lives, and families have been hit hard by the effects of addiction and mental health.

Cherry Orchard Church 2md

Cherry Orchard parish church 

Despite the work put in by local services and groups, drugs will always be prevalent in society, such is the way of the world.

However, who better to warn of the dangers than someone who has walked the walk?

That is what is happening this week in a new initiative at Cherry Orchard parish church, where two young people, who have battled substance abuse, will give a talk detailing their own experiences.

It is part of the parish’s annual Candleweek (February 24 – 26), which is open to all in the community.

“This year we are having three days of prayer and celebration, and as part of it we are offering two stories of hope of young people (one each night, Monday and Tuesday), who have journeyed through addiction with drugs and drink to a new life of freedom from it,” said Fr Michael Murtagh, Parish Priest at Cherry Orchard.

“Hopefully this will offer the same hope to many others, especially in a time when many are losing hope.”

This is the 14th year of Candleweek in Cherry Orchard, which aims to bring the community together to celebrate and inspire trust in God and in each other.

Each night the local parish team and volunteers put on a ceremony lasting less than an hour which involves prayer and song.

Fr Michael said the “powerful” talks on recovery from addiction, will be followed by the annual Healing Service on Wednesday.

“Wednesday is also Ash Wednesday when we traditionally begin to reshape our lives for the better as we prepare for Easter,” he said.

“These events are open to people of faith or no faith, and all are welcome to attend each evening at 7.30pm in Cherry Orchard Church.”

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