Concerns about Church of Scientology educational materials

There are growing concerns about the distribution of Church of Scientology educational materials in schools and more widely.  The materials are not endorsed by health officials and do not directly reveal their source. Schools and other bodies are advised to check back with health authorities before facilitating speakers and leaflet distribution.

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Medically supervised injecting facility announced

mq facility

Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI), has been selected to operate Ireland’s first Medically Supervised Injecting Facility (MSIF) in Dublin City Centre, on a pilot basis. The facility will be operated in close partnership with all relevant partners, including the HSE, the Gardaí, Dublin City Council and the local community, to ensure its success as a pilot project.

Further information

News report

Substance misuse prevention initiative

The Task Force is developing a new initiative during 2018 on substance misuse prevention. This initiative will involve training-up personnel already working in youth prevention, and providing each – through their agency – with a small budget to operate a series of groupwork programmes. The groupwork programmes will target vulnerable youth, aged 13-19, as follows:

substance misuse prev graph
  • Young people in community settings, such as youth services, special youth projects, care and after-care projects, family resource services, and out of school education, with a focus on preventing or delaying onset of substance use and misuse, and
  • Young people who have already commenced cannabis or other drug use, with a focus on preventing an escalation from occasional to regular or serious use.

Further information

Social media and vulnerable youth

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The next workshop in the Youth At-Risk network series will be held on Thursday, April 12th in Harbour View Business Centre, Dun Laoghaire. For now, this is just an advance notice and more detailed information will issue in early March. There is little doubt but that social media encompasses a wide range of activity, straddling personal, social and working lives, and clearly it is a medium whose potential, positive and negative, is yet to be fully realised. Two recent developments give expression to its contrasting uses. On the one hand it has been widely criticised because of the way it has been used for grooming children by sex predators, while on the other social media has played an important role in mobilising and politicising American youth campaigning for more effective gun control. As a reminder, when it was originally decided to have a social media workshop the following title was decided: “Understanding both the benefits and the harms for young people arising from the use of social media”. The workshop will keep with this theme and more details will be circulated later.

January 2018 courses

Two new courses are scheduled to commence in January: see flyers for further information

Community development course

Alcohol and drug awareness course

Valuing Family Support

A new report Valuing Family Support: A Social Return on Investment Analysis on Understanding the Value of Family Support for Families, undertaken by Quality Matters in conjunction with Family Support Network draws attention to the many, health and relationship benefits to families of support networks.  The report was launched Dec 6th at an event to celebrate 10 years of the Family Support Network. An infographic and press release are available at links below:


Press release

Youth-at-risk Network: 3rd Workshop


See Video of the Workshop

The third workshop in Youth At-Risk Network series  will be held on Thursday, November 23rd, 10.00-1.00 in the Harbour View Business Centre, Dun Laoghaire. The theme of this workshop is: The Cannabis Question: What are the issues and dilemmas posed for workers in the field arising from the use of cannabis by Youth At-Risk. To book a place at this workshop contact Marie: 01-7060125.

In conjunction with this workshop the Task Force has produced a Briefing on Young People and Cannabis. Two versions of this briefing - text and slide show - are available as pdfs

Text (long) version

Slide show version

UK Supreme Court rules in favour of minimum price legislation

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The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland can set a minimum price for alcohol. Legislation was approved by the Scottish Parliament five years ago but has been tied up in court challenges from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). In a unanimous judgment, seven UK Supreme Court judges said the legislation did not breach European Union law and ruled the measure was a "proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim". Ministers said a 50p-per-unit minimum would help tackle Scotland's "unhealthy relationship with drink" by raising the price of cheap, high-strength alcohol. More


Injection facility opening delayed

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The development of the State’s first supervised injecting centre – in which users would be permitted to inject drugs they had obtained elsewhere - has reached a significant stumbling block, following a ruling by Dublin City Council ruling that the facility cannot go ahead without planning permission. Last August the HSE issued a tender seeking a provider to run the facility and both the Ana Liffey Drug Project and Merchants Quay Ireland applied. Although legislation to allow the facility passed by the Dáil earlier this year, the City Council has ruled that it is not exempted from the requirement of planning permission. It is believed the ruling could delay the opening for up to two years. More

New EMCDDA guide on responss to drug problems

emcdda report

EMCDDA – the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction has produced a very good guide on health and social responses to drug problems. The guide comes with a range of associated online materials and is an excellent reference point for planning or delivering health and social responses to drug problems in Europe, and individual States. It highlights that the most appropriate responses depend on (1) the specific drug problems, (2) the contexts in which they occur and (3) the types of intervention that are possible and socially acceptable. By providing key information on some of the most important drug issues for Europe and the responses available, this guide aims to assist those involved in tackling these challenges to develop new programmes and improve existing ones, and in drawing from evidence in their efforts to do so. Download the guide here

 © DLR - DATF, 2016   C/O Southside Partnership, Main st., Blackrock, Co. Dublin Tel: 01-7060125 / 087-6494922