Swanswell remembers those affected by substance misuse around the world

18 July 2011

Swanswell will be joining tens of thousands of people around the world on 21 July to remember those who have died as a result of substance misuse.

International Remembrance Day is an annual event first organised in Germany in 1998 to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives because of drugs and alcohol, and to celebrate those lives that have been saved by treatment.

Now, events are also held in Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Canada and the UK. Swanswell’s marked this day since 2009 and will be holding a minute’s silence at 11am as an act of remembrance.

During July, the national charity – which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use – has been encouraging clients to leave messages in a book of remembrance, take a candle home to light in memory of someone they’ve lost, and take safety and harm reduction information to pass on to others.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘International Remembrance Day is an important time to stop and think about the countless lives that have been lost because of alcohol and drugs misuse.

It’s also a time to reflect on what we’re trying to achieve – a world free from problematic alcohol and drug use – so that someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, other relative or friend isn’t taken away by something that can be turned around.

Finally, it’s an important opportunity for those worried about substance misuse to take the first step and get help from organisations such as Swanswell, so they can begin to change and be happy.’

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