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Collins, John Paul (2010) Communities of interest - Travelling community. In: Community drugs problem: defining the problem - defending the responses conference, 15 October 2010, Dublin.

PDF (The traveller community - a matter of inclusion presentation) - Published Version

John Paul Collins, Pavee Point: Traveller Specific Drugs Initiative, gave an overview of the drugs problem within Traveller communities:
• There had been a 66% increase in the number of Travellers accessing treatment between 2007 & 2009 and the main problems are with alcohol, heroin, & cocaine.
• The suicide rate within the Traveller population is six times higher than the settled population and that the majority of these are drug related.
• It is more difficult for Travellers to access services because of stigma and embarrassment, lack of awareness of existing services and lack of formal education.

He listed five practical steps to make services more accessible to Travellers:
1. Increase service awareness and traveller engagement
2. Implement a social inclusion policy
3. Cultural sensitivity to the needs of travellers
4. Actively promote traveller participation
5. Meaningful Traveller issues brought to Drugs Task Forces

John Paul acknowledged that:
• The research they are conducting has shown that there is a lot of great work being done with Travellers struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
• The best response is collaborative working by facilitating the sharing of knowledge, skills, experience and resources.
• Work needs to continue with the Traveller community to address the issue of stigma and embarrassment while services need to ensure they are visible to those most at risk.

Item Type
Conference or Workshop Item
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Event Title
Community drugs problem: defining the problem - defending the responses conference
Event Location
Event Dates
15 October 2010
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
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