December 16, 2014
It’s new Strategic Plan: ‘a creative approach to targeting drug related harm’:
The Ana Liffey Drug Project, which works directly with over 2,500 people affected by addiction problems in Ireland every year is seeking support to provide a suitable premises for a ‘low threshold residential stabilisation’ service.
This provides treatment for drug users with multiple and complex needs which require immediate specialist support.
Mr Tony Duffin, Director, said that with a suitable property, Ana Liffey could accommodate up to twenty people at a time on a pilot project to help them to stabilise, to stay off the streets as well as reducing the demands on other health services. The operating costs for such a service would be approximately €1.5 million. Research shows that every euro spent on treatment can save countries up to €2.50 in other costs, through public health benefits and cutting crime.
“It would be Ireland’s first residential stabilisation service of its kind for people with addiction problems, providing the direct access, medical stabilisation, clinical assistance and mental health care that these people need as they present to the service. In return we are confident that the local community will see a reduction in crime, anti-social behaviour and drug taking in the streets and alleys,” he said.
Mr Duffin was speaking at the launch of the Ana Liffey 2015-2017 Strategic Plan, which includes a number of innovative and internationally recognised approaches to closing gaps in Ireland’s landscape of addiction services.
In addition to the stabilisation service, Ana Liffey is also seeking the introduction of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Dublin where an addicted person can inject themselves safely and away from the public’s gaze.
“They are a very successful intervention, with over 90 centres in countries throughout the world. Not only do they contribute to reducing public injecting and unsafe disposal, they also help people attending to tackle their addictions through dedicated access to treatment programmes,” he said.
With an average of one person dying from overdose every day and people using multiple substances in every town and city in Ireland, the Ana Liffey’s Strategic Plan is innovative to be effective.
“Drug use has changed. There is more and more poly-drug use and an increasing number of complex cases. We need to accept, as a society, that it is not realistic to expect to be able to stop all drugs entering the country, or to be able to eliminate problem drug use,” Mr. Duffin said.
Since 1982 the Ana Liffey Drug Project (ALDP) has provided a ‘Low Threshold – Harm Reduction’ service to individuals who are experiencing problem substance use and their families.
In recent years, it has established services in the Midlands and the Mid-West and it is planned to expand services to reach as wide a client base as possible across the country.
The new Strategic Plan focuses on ‘Targeting Harm’. Ireland has limited resources to deal with problem drug use and needs to target the resources we do have towards evidence informed interventions which have been shown to reduce the harm drug use causes to individuals, families and communities.
The Strategic Plan embraces the changes in the regulatory landscape and the establishment of the Charities Regulatory Authority by continuing to strengthen and develop the organisation’s governance practices and structures to ensure that it continues to meet current good practice as it signs up to the Governance Code.
Mr Eddie Matthews, Chairperson, Council of Management said that Ana Liffey provides valuable, helpful services to those who problematically use drugs, their families and broader communities.
“This is done through the prism of pragmatism. We neither condone nor condemn drug use. We are non-judgmental and client centred, believing in the potential of every individual. We believe in the value of harm reduction.
Our Strategic Plan includes a strong focus on working with government departments, NGOs, universities and other stakeholders to develop effective programmes, necessary legislation and sufficient funding to tackle drug addiction in this country,” he said.
By supporting the Ana Liffey Drug Project you are investing in helping the most vulnerable – supporting those with addiction issues off the streets, reducing crime and antisocial behaviour, and rebuilding lives, families and communities.
The Ana Liffey Drug Project Strategic Plan is available here.