Drug Prevention and Education Interventions

The Prevention and education work of Finglas Cabra Local Drug & Alcohol Task Force is guided by the World Health Organisation endorse principles of the new public health movement (WHO,1986). The five principles are:

Developing individual personal and social skills

Re-orientating health services toward improving access, availability, and use

Facilitating and strengthening community participation and collective action

Creating local environments that are conducive to individual and community health

Creating public policies supportive of health

Taken together the Task Force seeks to reduce drug related harm through inter-sectoral and multi-level activity encouraging individual, community, and environmental change.

The drug prevention and interventions of the Task Force are informed by research evidence from social environmental interventions such as the Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP). SSDP found that “the children exposed to the intervention demonstrated improved outcomes in early adulthood in a number of areas, including rates of substance misuse and delinquency.” (P.60, Preventing Harmful Substance Use, 2005)

Informed by the research evidence from social environment interventions the Task Force works with local schools and youth services to provide positive educational experiences, reduce negative peer influences, to reduce drug use and delinquency.

A key aspect of the Task Force prevention approach utilizes fact-based drug education. The Drug Education Workers Forum (DEWF) described drug education as an intervention aimed at enhancing the knowledge, skills, and competencies people use in their decisions about drug use. The aim is to give and receive age-appropriate information plus knowledge to help people make informed choices to reduce the harms and risks factors of substances use/misuse within their social context.

The Task Force employs a Health Promotion Worker to support the delivery of its prevention interventions to young people in school and out of school settings, parents, and to the various local community, voluntary, and statutory organisations.

Prevention initiatives delivered include:

Small Grant Schemes

Community Response small grant scheme/fund: The purpose of this fund is to support local voluntary community groups to organise small community prevention activity. After complying with strict criteria an application form is completed and assessed by the TF Health Promotion Worker. Under the strict criteria funding is only available to recognised voluntary community groups/organisations located within the Task Force area. Applications are not accepted from individuals. Applications must also clearly demonstrate how the funding applied for will contribute to addressing the drug issue locally.

After Schools Grant/Drug Prevention Activity Fund: This fund provides small grants for new prevention activity and additions to existing activity in local schools and youth services. Activity funded must contribute to building psycho-social resilience in children and young people living in the Finglas and Cabra areas. It is particularly interested in applications aimed at children and young people growing up in homes affected by problem drug and alcohol use. The grant can be used to pay individuals to deliver therapeutic interventions etc. There are two calls for applications from eligible bodies each year Sept-Dec and Jan-June.