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Home > Citywide 20th anniversary conference.

Citywide. (2015) Citywide 20th anniversary conference. In: Communities and drugs -Developing a drugs policy that works, 12 November 2015, Croke Park.

URL: http://www.citywide.ie/citywide-20th-anniversary/


This year 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign. It is also a year when drug policy reform issues such as decriminalisation are being put on the policy agenda in Ireland in advance of the development of the next National Drugs Strategy. 

This major conference on the overall theme of Drug Policy Reform looked at the following questions:
1.What have we learnt from 20 years experience of trying to tackle the drugs issue here in Ireland?
2.How can we link our experience in Ireland to the international debate on moving from the ‘war on drugs’ to a public health and human rights approach?
3.How can we bring together the learning and evidence from the Irish and the international experience to feed into the new Irish National Drugs Strategy?

On the Citywide website (right panel):
•View the videos of the speeches by President Higgins and Minister O’ Ríordáin
•Video and power-point from the morning presentations

  1. Ann Fordham, Executive Director, International Drug Policy Consortium: The UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs & the shifting global drug policy landscape. [Power-point Presentation] 
  2. José Antonio Gutiérrez Danton, Academic, Researcher , community activist: International drugs policy and the “War on Drugs”- the impact on communities in Colombia  [Power-point Presentation] 
  3. John Collins, Co-ordinator, LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project :Linking current developments in Irish drugs policy to the international policy context [Power-point Presentation] 
  4. Niall O’Connell, Service User Rights in Action: Supporting a Human Rights Approach to delivery of drug services   
  5. Anna Quigley, Co-ordinator, Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign: 20 years experience of community involvement – key lessons for the next National Drugs Strategy [Power-point presentation]

•Information from the afternoon workshops

1.  Medically Supervised Injecting Centres - A case study in bringing about drug policy reform in Ireland [ Presentation]
How the case for Medically Supervised Injecting Centres has been moved from the margins to the mainstream, how the case has been developed, promoted and placed on the agenda of government and the next steps in progressing it.   Contributor: Tony Duffin, Ana Liffey Drugs Project

2. Understanding and responding to drug-related community violence and intimidation   [Power-point Presentation]
Initial findings of a joint piece of work on intimidation in communities carried out by HRB and Citywide in partnership with the Drug Task Forces - how the findings can be used to help identify strategies for responding .  Contributor: Brendan Marsh, Citywide  

3. Implementing Decriminalisation – developing a model that works in Ireland [Power-point Presentation]
Key factors that need to be considered when introducing decriminalisation e.g. threshold quantities, type of sanctions, role of police and courts, role of drug services etc. and at how these factors should be addressed in an Irish context.   Contributor: Niamh Eastwood, Release   

4. Developing the unique role of Community Drug Projects – the factors that make them effective in their work and the challenges they are facing [Power-point Presentation]
Initial findings of research commissioned by Citywide into the factors identified by Community Drug Projects as presenting a challenge to the integrated, holistic and responsive approach that underlies their work and will look at what changes are needed to support this approach.  Contributor: Deirdre McCarthy, Researcher   

5. The role of the media in the discussion of social policy – how to support a rational and informed public debate on drug policy reform [Power-point Presentation]
How media reportage of drug-related issues is currently crime-focused and how this focus can be shifted, including lessons that can be learnt from the Marriage Equality Referendum Campaign.  Contributor: Paul Reynolds, Crime Correspondent, RTE and Moninne Griffith - Marriage Equality Referendum Campaign  

6. Developing a Human Rights approach to delivery of drug services – A case study on the experience of methadone treatment [ Power-point Presentation]
The workshop looked at a piece of work that has been carried out by service users reps in partnership with CAN to identify how the human rights of service users are being breached in the delivery of drug services and how services can become human rights compliant . Contributor: Service User Rights in Action Group and Community Action Network (CAN)   

7. Women and the National Drugs Strategy - The impact on Women of current drug policy and what needs to be included in the next NDS [Presentation]
How the experiences of women who use drugs, and the impact of drug use on their lives, are distinct and unique and will look at the ways in which services need to respond to the reality of this unique experience.  Contributor: The SAOL Women, Gary Broderick, Director, SAOL   

 8. Equality and diversity in the new National Drugs Strategy - How to ensure inclusion of Travellers, New Communities, LGBT and other minority groups [Power-point Presentation]
How the Public Sector Duty in relation to equality and diversity in public policy making can be harnessed to ensure the full integration of “communities of Interest” and minority groups into the development of the new NDS. Contributor: Niall Crowley, Independent Equality Expert   

 9. The value of Family Support – How the value of Family Support Work can be understood and measured

Findings from a Social Return on Investment evaluation of Family Support Groups that will explain how the value of family support was understood and measured.  Contributor: Megan O’Leary, NFSN and Philip Isard, Quality Matters         

10. The role of Youth Work in developing and supporting effective models of drugs education, prevention and harm reduction [Power-point Presentation] + BelonG To Young People presentation PDF

The key role of youth projects in supporting young people to actively engage around the drugs issue through awareness raising, education and empowerment and will discuss potential models for developing this work in the new NDS.    Contributor: Belong To Youth Services & Jimmy Norman, Addiction Response Crumlin Under 18s service 

11. Developing an integrated approach to the issues of drug use and homelessness – the experience from the frontline [Power-point Presentation]

Current initiatives to deliver an integrated service across homelessness and drug use, areas where progress has been made and the obstacles to further progress and how they can be addressed.   Contributor: Merchants Quay Ireland  

12.  What Ireland can contribute to UNGASS 2016 – examining the concepts of regulation and legalisation. [Power-point Presentation]

Recent reports on the options for cannabis regulation and regulating drug supply generally and the debate among drug policy academics on the role of ‘evidence’ in the drug policy debate.  Contributor: Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst, Transform

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