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Home > Coolmine marks 40 years in addiction services.

Kelly, Caraiosa (2013) Coolmine marks 40 years in addiction services. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 47, Autumn 2013, p. 1.

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Coolmine Therapeutic Community in Co Dublin celebrated 40 years in service delivery on Friday 17 May. A commemorative event was held at Coolmine Lodge to mark the occasion and a book aptly entitled 40 years helping people find their way home was launched, which includes a collection of stories from past Coolmine clients.  Established in 1973, Coolmine was the first specialist drug treatment centre of its kind in the country 

  President Michael D Higgins with Coolmine Chairman Brian Ward and CEO Pauline McKeown at the 40-year celebration event

Coolmine’s mission is to provide a range of quality community and residential services to empower people to end their dependence on drugs and alcohol. The continuum of care services range from detoxification through to lifelong aftercare, and include: outreach services; drop in services (where clients contemplating a drug free life can initially seek help/advice); stabilisation programmes; day programmes; residential programmes (including the only mother and child residential programme in the country); educational programmes; and community employment.

The treatment approach is based on peer support, in which drug-free participants, who live in small, structured, drug-free housing, are expected to contribute to the general running of the community and to their own recovery by actively taking part in educational activities and in group and individual therapy sessions. 

Following some emotive and inspiring stories from current and past clients of Coolmine, CEO Pauline McKeown gave a brief overview of the community’s vision and goals. She said that Coolmine currently provides a range of addiction treatment services to approximately 1,000 people each year.Ms McKeown highlighted some recent changes in the type of clients presenting to the centre, namely the increasing age profile (majority are in their thirties) and the move from predominantly Dublin admissions to over 50% of all admissions now coming from outside the capital. She also pointed to trends away from use of single opiates to polydrug use, and to a growth in the numbers taking cocaine, crack, and benzodiazepine.
The event was attended by President Michael D Higgins, who held the large audience captive with his praise for the services offered by Coolmine over the past 40 years. In particular, he mentioned the knock-on effects of addiction on families and friends, who he said were also beneficiaries of the success achieved through Coolmine’s programmes. He reiterated the importance of Coolmine’s work in providing a safe haven for people with addictions, who he felt generally get very little sympathy from the wider society. Also in attendance were founder Lord Paddy Rossmore and the children of the other founders, Jackie Ballard and Brian Delaney. Special guest speaker for the graduation was Mr Rowdy Yates, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Stirling.
The event culminated with a tour of the facilities and the graduation of the most recent clients to successfully complete Coolmine’s programme.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 47, Autumn 2013
October 2013
Page Range
p. 1
Health Research Board
Issue 47, Autumn 2013

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