“RAPID`s contribution to addressing the challenges of

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Transcript “RAPID`s contribution to addressing the challenges of

“RAPID’s contribution to addressing
the challenges of addiction in
County Louth”
The Drogheda &
Dundalk RAPID
General aim of project
• To work in collaboration with service providers,
families and individuals at risk of misuse and
those with addiction dependencies across the
five pillars of the drug strategy• Prevention/Education
• Treatment,
• Rehabilitation,
• Supply & Reduction and
• Research and Information
Structure of the response
• The Local Authority as lead agent under the RAPID
– identified growing issues of alcohol and substance misuse as
contributing factors to ongoing Anti Social Behaviour, criminal
damage and family disruption.
– The impact and response to alcohol and drugs misuse crosscuts
all the RAPID strategic themes
• Drug Advisory groups /networks were established.
– Based on evidence and given the geographical location of two
large urban areas within County Louth
• The RAPID programme was identified as secretariat and
facilitator of these groups by the Local Authority.
The Structures
• The Dundalk Drugs Advisory Group was established in 2006
• The Drogheda Drugs Advisory Network was established in 2009
– They were established to provide an open forum to enable
networking, information exchange as well as providing a
platform to improve the resources available to enable a coordinated response to substance misuse in Louth Urban areas.
– They have similar terms of reference.
– The membership of these structures is made up of statutory
voluntary/community organisations and public representatives.
Clarification of the Drug Problem
• From 2001- 2006, County Louth was reported to have the
highest average incidence of new cases presenting for drug
treatment (Reynolds et al., 2007).
• The Issue - A large number of young people from Louth
RAPID areas were presenting with addiction issues through
a variety of settings
• There was a need to tackle this issue and look at “What”
the current level of service provision was in Louth, “Who”
were the providers and “How” it was impacting on the
service user, their families and the wider community
Drogheda’s Response -DDAN
• Drogheda Drugs Addiction Network (DDAN).Membership includes NERDTF,
Peer Youth Education (PYE), Coordinator Strengthening Families
Programme (SFP), School Completion , An Garda Siochana, Drogheda
Youth Development, two Garda Diversion projects reps. Homeless Aid,
Acts of Compassion Group, Pillar Family Support , Louth Drugs and Alcohol
Team, HSE Outreach, Matt Talbot Counselling Service and Public Reps.
• The DDAN conducted an audit of local area addiction services including
the levels of investment by the statutory agency with responsibility for
addiction services
• Identified approximate number awaiting methadone treatment in
• Number of General Practitioners and participating pharmacies engaging
with the methadone service, availability of detox services and referral
procedures attached to the existing services
• Need for harm reduction approach was identified
• Level of support for families coping with addiction
Response continued DDAN
• A short-medium term action plan 2010 –
2013) was agreed and focuses on:
Engagement with General Practitioners
Family Support
Harm reduction approach
Actions: Prevention & Awareness
• Peer Youth Education (PYE)in community and secondary
• Targeted individual and family drugs education initiatives
• Awareness: seminars in 2004,2007,open day and seminar
2011,Audit of services and dissemination of information –
• Frontline staff training 2009
• Promotion of community based accredited addiction studies
/Louth, NUI Maynooth & Pathways
• Key agencies/service providers - PYE programme ,Foroige
Garda Project ,Youth Work Ireland Garda project, Schools
completion Team, Drogheda Youth Development, RCO, HSE,
LLP, Schools Drogheda Community Services, Dublin Pathways
Engagement with General
• Contact established (RCO)
• Irish Council General Practitioners Seminar
Accreditation (RCO)
• Working to extend GP support for the delivery
of the methadone programme (Louth
Community Drugs and Alcohol Team based in
Drogheda )
Family Support
• Established contact with the National Family Support
Network/North East ( RCO)
• Promotion of awareness of existing community based
counselling services (RCO,CONNECT FRC, Community House
• Supporting direct engagement with families at risk and the
introduction of the Strengthening Families Programme to
Drogheda ( HSE, CONNECT FRC, Probation& Welfare, LLP,
Drogheda Borough Council, YWI, PILLAR, YAP ,SCP, HSCL,
Community Gardaí, RCO)
• Piloted post- Strengthening Families initiative for programme
Harm Reduction
• Provision of outreach access to safe injecting equipment and
other supports aimed at reducing harm for the individual, the
family and the community
• Ana Liffey Drugs Project in collaboration with Louth
Community Drugs and Alcohol Team based in Drogheda
piloted the needle exchange programme. It was subsequently
rolled out in the rest of the Region and is funded by the
NERDTF. The Elton John Foundation and NERDTF funds
needle exchange.(HSE,LCDAT,NERDTF, Ana Liffey Drugs Project
• Service is delivered on site and outreach at locations agreed
with the service users.
Drogheda Key Impacts & Outcomes
• Projects witnessing the benefits of targeted training initially
funded by the RAPID DAF and are now incorporating the
training into their annual plans.
• Overwhelming uptake of the Ana Liffey/LCDAT harm
reduction service
• Continuation of peer youth education in schools at least for
the present
• Increased knowledge of availability of low and free
community based counselling services
• Recognition by families and referral agencies of the major
impact of the Strengthening Families Programme
Outcomes continued
• GPs are responding but more needs to be done to improve
availability of methadone service
• Due to links with ALDP outreach NSP project worker there is
now greater engagement with new pharmacies
• Greater awareness of the impact of addiction on families
• New integrated youth service offering a range of supports and
a drugs and alcohol free space for young people
• Community participation in accredited training opportunities
• Greater access to a new cohort of drugs users that would not
previously accessed services
Dundalk’s Response
The Initial work of the Dundalk Drugs Advisory Group
 was to host a seminar on drugs misuse in 2006
 In 2008 commissioned a piece of local research concerning
drug misuse carried out by Queens University’s school of
sociology, Belfast, from this research 15 recommendations
were identified.
 Became a sub structure of AIT under the Health & Family
support theme
 reviewed the recommendations and prioritised six actions
which forms the work plan of Dundalk Drugs Action Group
2009 -2013.
 As a consequence of the review, it was agreed that the
group was no longer advisory but action focused and they
changed their name to Dundalk Drugs Action Group.
Dundalk Drugs Action Group’s work
plan 2008-2013
The Queens Report was the spring board for the following actions……
 Action 1- To invite a Service User on to the membership of the group & source
training supports for service user and training for DDAG (Recommendation 15)
 Action 2- Progress a Local Community Alcohol detox service (completed) and a
Regional Residential Detox/rehabilitation Centre within the Urban Vision/Mount
avenue plans(Regeneration area of Dundalk) (Recommendation 6)
 Action 3-The Training of frontline Staff that addresses attitudes of people towards
those who are addicted or dependent on drugs (Recommendation 10)
 Action 4- The Identification of G.P’s to train as level 1 and /or Level 2 prescribers in
the Dundalk Methadone programme – (Recommendations 11 & 12, rolled into one
 Action 5- Progress Targeted specific actions, Taxi services, licensed premises,
explore drug free estates/”Drug Watch areas” (under the supply and reduction
 Action 6- The Introduction of Harm Reduction measures in Dundalk and the
provision of Outreach support and further development of the Family Support
initiatives for family members to access (Recommendation 13) Completed
 The group strategically linked the local development of these actions to key indicators
nationally, where possible
Collaborative approach's on completed actions
• Action 1 -A service user is now a member of DDAG and attends
meetings regularly
• Action 2- A community alcohol detox service was established as a
national pilot site and opened its service in November 2011; this
pilot will run to December 2012 and on evaluation if successful, it is
envisaged to further develop the model to include other drugs
including opiates. Member organisations involved TURAS , Dundalk
Simon Community, NERDTF, HSE & RCO
• Action 6- The Introduction of Harm Reduction measures
• The provision of Outreach support
• Development of Family Support initiatives
• The needle exchange service,-This service is aimed at reducing the
incidences of harm for injecting heroine users, it is provided one
day per week out on the street (RAPID/LA Estates) at designated
locations and at two clinics held in the local HSE addiction services
and the Simon community, Member organisations involved Ana
Liffey project, NERDTF, HSE ,Dundalk Simon Community & RCO
Collaborative approach's on completed actions
Action 6- Drug Outreach and signposting services- This service was established in
the RAPID area of Cox’s Demesne during 2011, as a direct result of the growing
needs of service users and their families to engage with a support service in their
own communities. Member organisations involved RCO, Turas, Local Authority’s
Regeneration Officer & Department of Environment Community and Local
Community Addictions Links worker Role- This service was established to provide
valuable information/sign posting and advocates service to substance mis-users
and their families within the community in the Dundalk RAPID areas specifically.
The role will compliment and feed directly into the Drug Outreach worker service.
Member organisations involved FAS, RCO, Turas & HSE
Family support initiatives- having identified the need for family support services,
The RCO along with a member organisation has established a weekly Friday
morning Family support group,
A gender specific support group,
an Al-Ateen group and
a Narcotics Anonymous mixed group was also established that meet weekly.
Funding was secured through the Young people’s Facilities and Services fund for
youths engaging with illicit substances to access counselling sessions- (as a direct
result of the Head shops)
Member organisations involved RCO, Turas & HSE, Oakdene Counselling Service
Dundalk Outcomes/Impacts
Three New services have been established in the Dundalk Urban area as a result
there is Improved access for services users to– outreach services,
– community alcohol detox and
– needle exchange services
The community addictions studies course established and continues to roll out
annually, an accredited awareness raising and practical learning training on
addiction issues affecting communities
• THE 2010-2011 course - 120 candidates attended for interview –
• 25 places were offered,
• 24 completed course,
• In Total in Louth 75 participants have completed the course.
New and improved family support initiatives were developed
GP interventions continue to be made in order to encourage engagement in the
Dundalk Methadone programme.
Frontline service providers work is supported and promoted through DDAG
– small grants fund in 2009 (€20,000 in total from Local Development Company)
Positive engagement with service users and the Statutory/community/voluntary
service providers, as this continues it allows for collaboration on actions
Dundalk Outcomes/Impacts
• A mechanism for referral for those in recovery from drug misuse wishing
to avail of FAS services has being devised and referrals can be made
through the North Eastern Regional Drugs Task Force and Dundalk Drug
Action Group.
• Awareness is raised on addiction issues among other statutory
/community providers (Not DDAG Members) around the AIT table.
• Dundalk Drug Action Group have recently had a budget line agreed by
Dundalk Town Council in their annual financial report 2012
• A multi-agency working group has been established to Promote a Cross
border Residential Detox facility(non faith based) along the Louth/Newry
border area, under the “Memorandum of Understanding “between Newry
and Mourne District Council and the Louth Local Authorities.
• Multi Agency Working groups have been established to progress the
remaining actions of the Queen’s report –
• Dundalk Drugs Action group is committed to delivering on these
actions by 2013, through a service integration approach.
That Concludes the presentation
“RAPID’s contribution to
addressing the challenges of
addiction in County Louth”