Government commitment to fund crack cocaine projects
Grace Hill, TDAFT co-ordinator

Government commitment to fund crack cocaine projects

THERE’S been a break-through for communities in Tallaght this week after the Government committed to funding two local crack cocaine specific projects.

An annual allocation of €140,000, on a recurring basis for three years, has been secured by CARP in Killinarden (€80,000) and JADD in Jobstown (€60,000).

Drug projects have in recent years been highlighting the prevalence of crack cocaine use in Tallaght, and the impact it is having on individuals, families and the wider community.

They’ve highlighted the emerging needs and, with no additional funding, developed and manned pilot projects to help reduce the harms of crack cocaine use.

In February, the Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (TDATF) submitted a funding proposal, with support from the local HSE addiction services, for two crack cocaine specific projects in CARP and JADD.

This funding proposal was informed by recent research commissioned by the task force on the changing landscape of drug misuse across its communities.

When contacted by The Echo, Grace Hill, TDATF co-ordinator, acknowledged the work of CARP and JADD in securing the funding and welcomed the recognition from Government.

“This is really good news, really positive news…,“ Ms Hill said.

“It’s great that the Minister [for Drugs, Frank Feighan] and the Government have acknowledged our proposal… and that it’s firmly on the Government’s agenda.

“All we want to do is to see people thrive.

“We’re telling people all the time that recovery is possible, but we need to fund that recovery.

“This funding will help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“We’ve been running pilot projects for the past three years and know we can do it… we know that they work.”

The €140,000, which has been approved through the HSE’s National Office for Social Inclusion, will be used to support two specific projects piloted by CARP and JADD in direct response to community needs.

CARP in Killinarden will use its annual allocation of €80,000 to sustain and develop a project that engages with women who are using crack cocaine in a safe, non-judgemental environment.

In Jobstown, JADD will direct its annual €60,000 allocation into its outreach programme, a harm reduction service that aims to ‘reduce the potential health-related harms of crack cocaine and the harms that may arise from the sharing of drug equipment.

Ms Hill said: “I have seen the work of the outreach team and have seen the gentle way in which they approach people, there’s no stigma, no judgement.

“They ask people would they like to be supported this evening, ask what they can do.

“This is harm reduction at its best.”

Task force and community calls for dedicated funding for crack cocaine services has received cross party support, with local councillors, TDs and senators working together in recent months to highlight the issue.

The need for funding was raised in the Dáil, Oireachtas Health Committee and in the chambers of South Dublin County Council, with the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and Minister for Drugs, Frank Feighan TD, also lobbied.

According to Dublin South West TD, John Lahart (FF): “Both these Ministers understand the importance of providing financial support to the groups most equipped to support local communities, and in Tallaght those two organisations are JADD and CARP…

“I know [JADD and CARP] will provide excellent additional supports, particularly to women and families impacted by crack cocaine use.”

While believing “more is needed” to support communities impacted by drug misuse, Deputy Lahart welcomed the additional funding allocation.

“For now, though, this is really good news for Tallaght,” Deputy Lahart said.

A spokesperson for the local HSE community healthcare area (Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow) confirmed the allocation of €80k to CARP and €60k to JADD annually for a period of three years.

For information on local drug services in the Tallaght area visit tallaghtdatf or call 01 4649303.

Share This