Home > National community action on alcohol pilot project.

Timony Meehan, Anne and Lyons, Suzi (2015) National community action on alcohol pilot project. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 54, Summer 2015, p. 5.

PDF (Drugnet Ireland 54)

In 2014 the Alcohol Forum, in partnership with the HSE and the Department of Health, initiated the National Community Action on Alcohol Pilot Project (NCAAPP).1 It aims to build the capacity of communities, through local and regional drugs and alcohol task forces (L/RDATF), to identify local alcohol-related harm issues and priorities and to develop integrated local alcohol action plans. 


A community mobilisation approach is a priority theme cited in the National Substance Misuse Strategy:2


There is a need for a community-wide, inclusive and coordinated approach to promote greater social responsibility and prevention and awareness raising on alcohol related issues. Communities should be supported to develop the evidence-based skills and methodologies to implement community mobilisation programmes with a view to increasing public awareness and discussion of alcohol problems, and to build community capacity to respond to alcohol problems at local level. (p. 27)


The National Substance Misuse Strategy also outlines how a public health approach is an appropriate response to reduce the harm from excessive consumption of alcohol in our communities and society as a whole. The local alcohol action plans developed under the pilot project will address the issues and priorities under the four national priority headings listed in the National Substance Misuse Strategy – supply, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, and research.


The NCAAPP also supports the implementation of recommendations within the Healthy Ireland framework, under themes three and four – Empowering People and Communities, and Health and Health Reform.3



A steering group comprising representatives from the Alcohol Forum, the Drugs Policy Unit of the Department of Health, from Health Promotion and Improvement and Social Inclusion in the HSE, and from the Ballymun Alcohol Strategy group was set up to guide the NCAAPP.


The objectives of the project are to:

  • introduce a model of community action on alcohol to L/RDATFs;
  • raise awareness of the evidence of effective measures/sustainable actions under each of the pillars – supply, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation and research – within L/RDATFs;
  • build awareness within L/RDATFs of alcohol prevention and related harm to both drinker and others;
  • explore effective measures to promote community engagement in the local action planning process;
  • develop an action planning template to assist communities to develop their own local alcohol action plan; and
  • ensure adequate monitoring, review and evaluation measures are built into the local plans.


L/RDATFs were asked to submit expressions of interest and in December 2014 six L/RDATF participants were selected:

  • North West Regional Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce,
  • Joint Initiative – Southern Regional Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce and Corks Local Drug and Alcohol Taskforce,
  • North Inner City Local Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce,
  • Tallaght Local Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce,
  • Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Local Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce.


To date, each of the taskforces has formed an alcohol sub-committee to work on the project and to engage with their community. Currently the Alcohol Forum is providing training to 20 representatives from the pilot projects and they in turn are linking back to their alcohol sub-committees and the full taskforce membership. It is planned that by early autumn 2015 each participating taskforce will have developed a draft alcohol action plan for their area.


An external evaluator has been engaged, following a tender process, to evaluate the effectiveness of the project and to use the findings to strengthen the project for roll-out in other areas.



  1. For further information visit http://af.mannadev.com/national-community-action-on-alcohol-project/ or contact Anne Timony Meehan at anne@alcoholforum.org
  2. Department of Health (2012) Steering group report on a national substance misuse strategy Dublin: Department of Health. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/16908/
  3. Department of Health (2013) Healthy Ireland – a framework for improved health and wellbeing 2013–2025. Dublin: Department of Health. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/19628/


Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
Issue Title
Issue 54, Summer 2015
July 2015
Page Range
p. 5
Health Research Board
Issue 54, Summer 2015
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

Repository Staff Only: item control page