Since being established in 1982 in North Inner City Dublin, the Ana Liffey Drug Project (ALDP) has provided a low threshold, harm reduction services to individuals who are experiencing problem substance use and their families.
The Ana Liffey Drug Project was the first ‘low threshold – harm reduction’ type service in Ireland. This model has gone on to be replicated throughout Ireland by many other organisations.
ALDP was originally set up as an alternative to the dominant abstinence based approach of the day. The project created a welcoming space where people who were using drugs could look at their life and their options for positive change in a non-judgmental environment. The project espoused core principles of ‘Respect, Welcome, Participation and Rights’. These principles still apply today.
In 1996, ALDP entered into a challenging period of transition that saw the project physically move from the Salvation Army premises in 13 Lower Abbey Street, to 112 Middle Abbey Street and finally to its new home at 48 Middle Abbey St in October 2003. During 2007 we expanded our services in Dublin, expanding into 51 Middle Abbey St. Since 2010, we have worked to expand our services to other regions, and we currently also provide services in the Mid West and North East Regions. In addition to our direct service delivery, we also provide online and digital services, including managing the drugs.ie platform.
The Ana Liffey has long provided a strong civil society voice in drug policy in Ireland. We played an important role in the development of supervised injecting in Ireland, and we are currently focused on supporting the adoption of a harm reducing and rehabilitative approach to possession of drugs for personal use. Internationally, we are engaged in projects focused on civil society participation in the area of drug policy. We are represented on the Civil Society Forum on Drugs, an expert group to the European Commission. We are also the focal point for Ireland for Correlation – the European Harm Reduction Network, and are members of the VNGOC, International Drug Policy Consortium and Harm Reduction International.
ALDP is structured as a number of teams, each led by a Team Leader. These are two Dublin Teams, two Assertive Outreach Case Management Teams and a Mid-West Team, all of which deliver our local services; and an Online and Digital Services Team which deliver our sectoral support and work in the online environment. These Teams are supported by a dedicated back office and senior management team. The Ana Liffey is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. It is governed by a Board of Management, all of whom are directors of the company. Our direct services are almost fully funded from state sources, including the HSE, Local and Regional Drugs Task Forces, the Probation Service and Dublin City Council. Our international and policy work is supported by the European Commission, Open Society Foundations and the London School of Economics. We are very grateful to all our funders for their support.