Extraordinary effort in 2020 to respond to COVID-19 and problematic drug use

November 1, 2021

Ana Liffey Drug Project’s 2020 Annual Report highlights extraordinary effort to respond to COVID-19 and problematic drug use.

Today, Monday 1st November 2021, Ana Liffey Drug Project launched their 2020 Annual Report at the Clayton Hotel in Limerick City.

Great effort

The 2020 Annual Report was launched by Dr Eamon Keenan the HSE National Clinical Lead-Addiction Services.

Speaking at the launch Dr Keenan said,

“I am very pleased to be here today to launch Ana Liffey’s 2020 Annual Report.  I am well aware of Ana Liffey’s great effort in the Midwest Region and in Dublin during 2020; and how their teams remained on the front line; delivering addiction services and adapting quickly to respond to COVID19 amongst a particularly vulnerable cohort of people.  Throughout the pandemic, whilst working in strong collaboration with others, Ana Liffey’s face-to-face interventions were delivered whilst observing COVID-19 safety measures – this work contributed significantly to reducing the impact of COVID19 and drug related harm amongst the people they serve.”

Increased demand

Also at the launch in Limerick, Tony Duffin, CEO of Ana Liffey, noted the recent increase in demand for their services in the Midwest:

“Since 2012, our Midwest team has worked with an average of 250 people per year. However, in the last 12 months, our team has worked with over 490 people.  We maintained our frontline presence in the Midwest throughout the COVID19 pandemic by providing face-to-face COVID19 supports and addiction supports – our team was consistently out on the streets throughout 2020.”

Duffin continued,

“Our small team of 4.5 staff have worked hard, and adapted very well, during an extremely difficult period.  The demand for our services has never been higher in the Midwest – particularly in the Limerick area.  There is a clear need to expand our team to meet this increase in demand for this essential service; to help our team to support our clients and ensure sustainable service provision.”

Drug trends

Bringing the attendees up to date on the latest data and information on  national drug trends in relation to stimulant drugs, the final speaker was Nicki Killeen of the HSE National Social Inclusion Office who gave the presentation ‘Stimulants in Ireland: An overview of the latest trends’. Ms Killeen spoke about crack cocaine; methamphetamine; and other stimulant drugs in Ireland.

Rachel O’Donoghue, Team Leader of Ana Liffey’s Midwest Team noted the significant problem with regard to the increased use of crack cocaine in Dublin and the Midwest:

“Polydrug use, the use of more than one drug during a session, remains the major concern for our work.  However, it is clear that in both the Midwest region and Dublin the use of crack cocaine has increased.  For example, our data shows that in 2020 Ana Liffey provided 2,550 crack pipes in the Midwest, mainly in Limerick City Centre; and we have seen a significant increase in Dublin in 2021.  We continue to work hard to respond to these and other drug trends.  We have already seen an increase in the numbers of people presenting to us; and it is unclear what more the aftermath of the pandemic will bring in terms of drug trends and numbers presenting for treatment.”

Download report

Ana Liffey Drug Project’s 2020 Annual Report is available to download here

Photos from the event:

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