July News 2012
Cannabis perceptions to be tackled
By Cormac O’Keeffe, Irish Examiner, Thursday, July 05, 2012
An awareness campaign is needed to correct the attitude that cannabis is relatively harmless, a drug taskforce has said.
Dublin’s north inner city drug task force is planning a local campaign to educate people about the newer, and more potent, forms of cannabis.
The taskforce — which traditionally worked to combat the use of hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine — is now setting up a series of workshops to address perceptions about cannabis.
This follows anecdotal reports and a recent online survey of drug projects highlighting the issue of high-strength cannabis.
Taskforce co-ordinator Mel MacGiobúin said: "From a general community point of view — particularly young people and older people — they refer to anything cannabis-based as hash [the traditional resin form of cannabis].
"There’s a tendency not to see it so much as a problem given the wider context of harder drugs, like heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine.
"We do hear from projects that high-strength cannabis — weed and skunk — is having a very big impact, particularly on young people and particularly mixed with other drugs.
"A series of workshops for community projects and the wider community will be commencing this autumn to draw attention to this, highlight the risks and dangers, and the potency of these drugs. We will also be using social media.
Figures published in the Irish Examiner recently showed that by May of this year, over €32m worth of cannabis herb and plant had been seized, compared to €10m worth of resin.
Click here to see the results of the survey.
Soilse, HSE North Dublin Central’s Addiction Rehabilitation Service marks its 20th anniversary
Today July 4th 2012, marks the launch of a three-day programme of events to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Soilse - HSE North Dublin Central's Addiction Rehabilitation Service. Soilse provides educational and therapeutic programmes for people who are in recovery from addiction.
Soilse's main objectives are to break the spiral of addiction, dependency and social isolation and to motivate recovering drug users to realise their potential. Since its foundation, hundreds of people with addiction problems have been through the programme with the majority living drug free, independent and fulfilled lives. Many participants have also gone on to achieve second and third-level educational qualifications. Soilse's 20th anniversary celebrations will exhibit the abilities and achievements of recovering addicts, highlighting that recovery from addiction is realisable.
Roisin Shortall Minister for State, Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care launched the celebrations. Speaking at the event, she said: "Drug use does not have to be a life sentence. It is vital that people who are struggling with addiction problems can access the kinds of services offered by organisations, like Soilse, so that they can ideally achieve a stable drug free lifestyle."
Speaking about Soilse's role in rehabilitation, Gerry McAleenan Head of Services said: "We contribute to and work to implement national policy on drug rehabilitation; pursuing best practice standards in assessment, care planning, case management and interagency involvement, as well as pioneering research on how education contributes to the development of recovery capital."
Click here for further information about Soilse