TD for Dublin Mid West has recently called for support for Sinn Fein’s Community Addiction and Recovery Strategy. The policy document seeks to revolutionise how addiction and recovery are approached in Ireland, by viewing addiction as a healthcare issue and calling for a community-led approach.
Speaking Teachta Ward said: “Everyone who experiences addiction deserves timely support to help them towards recovery and ensure they get the support they need. We must be ambitious in our vision for addressing addiction and delivering for people who are affected. “Our proposals incorporate a community-led model, which views addiction as a healthcare issue. They would be a first step in addressing the harm caused by addiction in Dublin Mid West .
“It’s time to listen to the experts and view addiction as a healthcare issue. This is the best way to ensure people get the help that they need to recover.
“Dual Diagnosis is a diagnosis whereby people have both a mental health diagnosis and an addiction diagnosis. For too long now, lip-service has been played to the need for Dual Diagnosis Services, but no government action has been taken. A Dual Diagnosis Working Group was established in 2017 and yet there still is no state-wide service. Sinn Féin would end this shameful impasse and deliver Dual Diagnosis Services.
“Gambling addiction is sadly all too common, yet the Government is failing to act and support people who need help. Sinn Féin would establish a Gambling Prevalence Survey to ascertain levels of need. We would also move the issue of gambling addiction to the remit of the Department of Health and bring forward a Gambling Control Bill.
“Our proposals also outline how we would move away from over-governance and towards a model of community-led sustainability and recovery that would allow the identification and tackling of area-specific issues.
“We would ring fence a percentage of money from CAB seizures to support Drug and Alcohol Taskforces in establishing and maintaining community services and supports and ensure that the funding returns to the communities most affected by the illicit drug trade.
“As part of this holistic, community-led approach, we would also create sports grants for clubs and organisations inclusive of those in recovery.
“We would also ensure additional support to meet the needs of people living in rural areas, such as by working with the Department of Health to explore the provision of free transportation services for people living in rural communities to access community treatment service.
“We have also included three innovative and exciting pilot projects that will fill gaps where vulnerable people often fall through the cracks. A first-of-its kind Alcohol Related Brain Injury service would be established and would support people through physical and mental interventions. This is a state-of-the art programme that will finally see those with an Alcohol Related Brain injury treated properly in this state.
“The establishment of a women’s One Stop Shop will support the most vulnerable women in addiction in accessing many of the much-needed services in one place. Too often women especially struggle to match caring roles with the numerous appointments and this one-stop shop will consolidate these so that everything from healthcare to social welfare support can be found in one place.
“Finally, a pilot project – modelled similarly to Housing First – will see those leaving addiction treatment be given access to their own apartment and wraparound services for those vital months as they transition back into their community. Almost every group I met raised this time as the most difficult for people attempting recovery. We believe that supporting people when they are making the right choices will enable them to continue on the path to recovery.”
“Recognising substance misuse as a community, and not individual harm is at the core of Sinn Féin’s approach to addiction. We will be there to support communities to recover from the harm addiction has caused to them. We have listened to services and we know that the people on the ground, day in and day out, are the experts.
“Our proposals are an ambitious and deliverable vision for supporting people with addiction and wider communities in Dublin Mid West. I believe that these policies would revolutionise how the government approaches these issues and finally empower people affected to get the change they want to see.”