National Drugs Forum 2018:

Working better together by building communities of practice

Aviva Stadium, 12 November 2018

Invitation to submit abstracts for forum workshops

The Department of Health and the Health Research Board will host a forum to discuss how community, voluntary and statutory sectors can work together to implement the national drugs strategy. The objectives and actions of Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery are underpinned by the values of equity and partnership and a commitment to an evidence-informed approach. The involvement of communities in the response to problem drug use is key to realising the strategy’s aims. The strategy also underlines the place of evidence in service development and delivery. It recognises how important it is to engage stakeholders both in the implementation of research findings and in sharing learned experience. This forum will provide an opportunity for opportunity for drug services to inform colleagues about their work, to exchange knowledge around what works and to identify information gaps. It will recognise the dynamism and commitment of these services, enable shared learning and encourage discussion among practitioners, activists and policy makers. This event aims to strengthen the capacity of existing communities of practice and provide examples for new networks and collaborative working across the statutory, community and voluntary sectors.

Invitation to submit abstracts

We wish to invite proposals for ten minute presentations at each of the four workshops during this national forum. We would like to hear from community-based, statutory or voluntary agencies working in any of the areas under the themes covered in this event.  The themes for these workshops are outlined below, with a brief definition of each one. Please click on the link below to submit your proposal to present at one of the workshops. 

National Drugs Forum: request to participate

  Please submit your proposal by Friday 28 September 2018.

Workshops:

  1. Supporting prevention work in the community Environmental prevention interventions aim to limit the individual’s exposure to unhealthy or risky behaviour opportunities, or to promote the availability of healthy options. Interventions can involve directly controlling what is allowable, influencing economic decision making or fostering behavioural change through alterations in the environment. Unlike traditional prevention programmes that focus on the individual, the focus is on changing the environment so that it supports the prevention of drug use. A number of locally-based alcohol initiatives have an environmental prevention element.
  2. Dual diagnosis: using partnership and peer support as resources in treatment The definition of dual diagnosis as ‘the coexistence of two or more psychiatric disorders at least one of which is problematic substance use’ is useful but does not reveal the complexity involved in diagnosing and developing effective clinical responses to the problem. Part of this complexity is the challenge faced by both mental health and addiction services in responding to unfamiliar problems. Involving services users, families and practitioner as co-creators of solution may strengthen the effectiveness of interventions
  3. The role of social reintegration in recovery The overall goal of rehabilitation services is to enable people to participate fully in society – emotionally, socially and economically. Social reintegration encompasses work with housing, education, employment and the reestablishment of links with family and community. These are essential parts of the social and physical capital that contribute to recovery.
  4. Harm reduction services: engaging with people who use drugs The shift in drugs policy over the last few years towards a health-led approach has enabled the introduction of a range new high quality services for people who use drugs. Official recognition of the potentially harmful consequences of drug control policy and growing awareness of the problems associated with stigma are also positive developments from a harm reduction perspective. Difficulties remain, particularly in regard to access to services, retention in treatment and dealing with new challenges.

 

If we are oversubscribed for requests to present at the workshops, we may invite individuals or organisations to present a poster at the forum instead. Further information about poster presentations will follow.

.