Home > The characteristics and motivations of attenders at a Dublin Drug Centre.

Carton, Simone (1989) The characteristics and motivations of attenders at a Dublin Drug Centre. MSc thesis, Trinity College Dublin.

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Since 1979, the use of illicit drugs has been a serious problem in Dublin. It has been estimated that there are between 3,000 and 15,000 illicit drug-users in Dublin but only 1,400 approximately, attend the drug-related agencies per year. Injecting heroin is the preferred drug and method of use among drug-users in Dublin, consequently the prevalence of HIV in Ireland is highest among this group. The objective of this study was to identify the reasons for first and continued contact at one drug-related agency in Dublin, the Ana Liffey Project. The respondents were also asked their ideas that would improve the service provided by the agency studied. A total of 50 attenders with a history of illicit drug use were interviewed. Data collection was by means of a semi-structured questionnaire administered by the researcher.

The major findings of this study were that the drug-users in the sample studied were aged between 20 and 25 years, unemployed and living in local authority accommodation. They had been or were multiple drug-users and 88% of those sampled had or were currently intravenously injecting heroin. For most, the first agency they contacted was the Drug Advisory and Treatment Centre. 52% were 7 or more years using drugs before they made contact with the Ana Liffey Project. Reasons for first contact were usually because respondents had reached a critically low point in their drug habit. Reasons for continuing to attend this agency were because of satisfaction with the counselling service and because the agency was somewhere to go and 'drop-in'.

Ideas for improvement of the agency studied included expanding the service especially with more activities. It is recommended that in the evaluation and development of existing drug-related agencies there should be greater cognisance of the variety of needs of attenders. Further research should focus on studying the characteristics and motivations of those illicit drug-users who do not attend the drug-related agencies.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Other
Drug Type
All substances, Opioid
99 p.
This M.Sc. Medicine thesis held only in Trinity Library, Stacks, Thesis number 1819
Accession Number
HRB 2678 (Not in collection)
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