Niada News

NIADA Blog - August 2020

Anne-Marie McClure

As I sit here contemplating how to write a blog – I find myself reflecting on how we, as human beings, have this wonderful ability to change and adapt.

Here we are almost 6 months into a global pandemic doing things we would have found incomprehensible last August

– Remote working

– Social distancing

– Wearing face coverings

– Hand sanitiser – new best friend

– Queuing for everything

– Pubs closed and restaurants becoming to new go to for a night out

– No live indoor entertainment

– No sun holidays unless you are very brave or very lucky

– And the list goes on….

Weirdly this new world has acted as a kind of catalyst for NIADA.  The Northern Ireland Alcohol and Drug Alliance (NIADA), for those of you who don’t know, is a membership initiative providing Voluntary and Community Sector providers of Alcohol and Drug services an independent voice.  The Alliance has built excellent relationships with DOH, PHA, PSNI, QUB and more importantly, with each other.

Our purpose includes: (now for the official stuff!)

  • To come together with a cohesive voice to advocate and influence policy, practice and service delivery
  • Campaign for voluntary and community sector involvement in development, design and delivery of drug and alcohol services
  • Take forward a ‘manifesto’ and lead on its implementation

NIADA members meet regularly – 6 weekly in fact.  We also have a number of very busy subgroups covering Comms & Policy, Minimum Unit Pricing and building a business case for a Transitional Residential Facility for Young People 18-25yrs.

Andrea is NIADA’s Support Officer, who does most of the heavy lifting.  So, if you are interested in hearing a little bit more or even better want to join us – give her a call on 07814 642354 or email her on

Intenational Overdose Awareness Day


International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event which is held on August 31st to help raise awareness of overdose and to help reduce stigma of substance use related deaths.   Naloxone is a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Having Naloxone and being able to administer it if needed saves lives.

To find out more watch this short video from Chris at Extern about how to use Naloxone.

To find out more about the benefits of Naloxone training have a look at this short video from Preeti at DAISY/ASCERT

Needle Exchange


There have been some changes to needle exchange services in Belfast recently.   Click HERE to access information on services available at this time.

Health Committee Briefing


On 21st May 2020 NIADA had the opportunity to brief the Health Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly.   Topics discussed included the impact of Covid-19 on trends involving drugs and alcohol, substitute prescribing and how NIADA members are working together to address these.

Living with the Effects of Covid-19 in Hydebank College


Covid-19 effects different people in different ways. Some young people in Hydebank Wood College told us about their current struggles.  Click on the graphic to see what they said.

Changes to Services due to Covid-19


Update to services being offered by NIADA members due to Covid – 19.  Please click HERE to download spreadsheet of services.