Home > CityWide conference discusses drug-related intimidation.

Connolly, Johnny (2011) CityWide conference discusses drug-related intimidation. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 36, Winter 2010, pp. 24-25.

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CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign hosted a conference titled ‘A community drug problem: defining the problem – defending the responses’ in October 2010. The conference was opened by Minister Pat Carey TD. The lord mayor of Dublin, Councillor Gerry Breen, also attended. According to Daithi Doolan, CityWide co-ordinator, the purpose of the conference was to provide an opportunity for those working in local community projects and groups to come together with local and regional drugs task force community representatives to discuss some of the key issues currently being confronted in relation to the drugs issue. In his opening address to the conference, the ‘community drugs problem’ was defined by Mr Doolan in the following terms: 

There is no home in Ireland that does not have a battle with addiction being waged within its four walls. But addiction becomes a community drugs problem when our very community becomes undermined by the drug related problems. In many areas across the country when families are faced with the challenges of addiction, the solution is to access treatment and rehabilitation services… . But unfortunately for many communities the problem of addiction is compounded by public drug dealing, lack of access to services, waiting lists, intimidation on a nerve shattering level, inadequate public services. A community drug problem is when schools, play grounds, recreational areas are embroiled in the drugs trade. When parks become no go areas, streets become no go areas, services become no go areas.
In order to provide solutions to these problems, ‘a holistic, integrated, partnership based approach’ is needed, according to Mr Doolan.
Speakers addressed three broad conference themes:
·         Engaging ‘communities of interest’ (including Travellers, new communities, drug users, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender groups);
·         Changing patterns of drug and alcohol use;
·         Community responses to issues of safety and intimidation.
The keynote speaker was Brian Harvey, who has recently completed research on the impact of the 2010 budget on the community and voluntary sector. Mr Harvey spoke about the impact of government cuts on community drug services. More details about the conference and the speakers, with summaries of their contributions, can be found at www.citiwide.ie/news/newsletter/2010/11
Mr Brian Harvey

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