Oct 19

National Youth Media awards



Sep 30

Save the date: 22 October 2015

Bray Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force is organising a facilitated workshop to develop a

coordinated intervention for young people who present with issues related to substance use.

When?     Thursday, 22 October ( morning)

Where?     Boardroom, HSE office Civic Centre, Main street Bray. ( Opp Mermaid Art Centre)

What is the Agenda? Still worked on, but it will focus on tangible interventions for young people.

Facilitator: Mr Stephen Harding.

Please save the date; 22 October 2015 !

Feel free to repost this invitation to anyone that you may think is interested in this issue. All welcome

Feb 24

Best practice in drug interventions: a new tool

EMCDDA have launched a new Best Practice portal.

This website has the latest information on what works in the area of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social reintegration.

Evidence is summarised in plain understandable language, with links to the underpinning research are available.

There is also a Q&A section. Check it out.


Jan 14

Public consultation on Alcohol

Public consultation: Alcohol in the community. Wednesday, 28 January 2015.

Bray Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force would like to invite you to a facilitated public consultation event in relation to the inclusion of alcohol into the Task Force remit.

Through this public consultation event we hope to inform future local policy development, appropriate responses and service delivery.  We would welcome and value your input into this event and it is an opportunity for you to express your views on this issue.      This consultation is an opportunity to identify responses that are appropriate, achievable and effective across a range of areas; including, health, education and youth, sale and supply, family and public order.

In an effort to accommodate and encourage attendance there will the two open sessions that you can choose from, one from 1-2pm or alternatively one from 7-8pm.  The format will include guest speaker, followed by small group facilitated discussion.

There is also a 3pm session aimed at young people, which will show a video made by young people from Bray and Newtownmountkennedy and produced by Bray Youth Service, a division of Crosscare.

The discussion will be around the statement:

“How is the use of alcohol affecting your community?”


Details shorthand:

Where: Bray Council Chambers

When: Wednesday, 28 January 2015


Session 1:

1-2pm with guest speaker Dr Bobby Smyth, MRC psych. Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Session 2:

3-4 pm with video clip, for young people only.

Session 3:

7-8pm with guest speaker Andrew Doyle, TD

Light refreshments provided

Please come and give your view on the development of a Bray Alcohol Policy.

RSVP: Rudy de Vreede, coordinator, Bray Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force.  0866057147

Oct 03

Heroin in decline; replacement substances cause concern

poppyAlthough global heroin production remains high and quantities seized in Turkey are rising (1), latest data on the demand for treatment and on seizures in Europe point to a downward trend in the use and availability of this drug. The European Drug Report 2014: Trends and developments notes that the number of reported first-time entrants to specialist drug treatment for heroin problems fell from a peak of 59 000 in 2007 to 31 000 in 2012. Data on drug supply show that the quantity of heroin seized in 2012 (5 tonnes) was the lowest reported in the last decade, half the amount seized in 2002 (10 tonnes). The number of heroin seizures also fell from some 50 000 in 2010 to 32 000 in 2012. There are an estimated 1.3 million problem opioid users in Europe, mostly heroin users. The report raises concerns over heroin being replaced by other substances, such as synthetic
opioids. Illicitly produced or diverted from medical sources, these include highly potent fentanyls and substances used in
opioid substitution treatment (e.g. methadone, buprenorphine). In 2012, 17 countries reported that over 10% of first-time opioid clients entering specialist treatment were misusing opioids other than heroin (Figure 2.9).( From Drugnet Europe 86, April -June 2014)

Jul 29


Campaign Urges Resourcing Of National Hepatitis C Strategy Be Prioritised

To mark World Hepatitis Day on July 28th, Community Response and Janssen have joined forces to launch ‘Treat It, Beat It’, a campaign to raise awareness of hepatitis C and highlight the need for the HSE’s National Hepatitis C Strategy to be resourced as a matter of urgency.

An estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people are infected with hepatitis C in Ireland, with many of those infected undiagnosed and untreated1.   The HSE National Hepatitis C Strategy (published in 2012) laid out a clear plan to reduce transmission of hepatitis C and to improve the care of patients infected with hepatitis C in Ireland.   There have been many advances in the treatment and management of hepatitis C in recent years and very effective treatment is now available which eliminates the virus in over 80% of cases2.  However treatment numbers are disproportionately low.

Dr Shay Keating, Drug Treatment Centre Board  “To date, no funding has been made available for the implementation of the HSE’s Hepatitis C Strategy and while we are treating as many patients as possible, we are not getting as far ahead as we would like. Additional funding and a lift of the moratorium to recruit additional staff are needed in order to implement the national strategy fully. As clinicians, we have set ambitious treatment targets but we must be resourced in such a way as to make these targets achievable. “

Nicola Perry of Community Response  “Hepatitis C is an infectious disease, often with no symptoms, and can lead to severe liver conditions.  Of those who develop chronic hepatitis C, an estimated 30% will develop cirrhosis; others will develop liver cancer, some of whom may require liver transplantation3.  Chronic hepatitis C is the most common reason for liver transplants in Europe and poses a significant public health burden. Over 70% of people affected by Hepatitis C in Ireland are IVDUs”


Jul 28

World Hepatitis Day – HSE urges at risk persons to get tested as thousands unaware that they are infected

The HSE is today urging anyone who may be at risk of hepatitis C to seek help and get tested as it is estimated that between 20,000 and 50,000 people in Ireland are chronically infected with hepatitis C, more than half whom are not aware of the infection.

Effective testing and treatment are available, according to consultant hepatologist, Dr Stephen Stewart, speaking on behalf of the HSE National Hepatitis C Implementation Group, to mark World Hepatitis Day 2014, which takes place today.

“About 1,000 new cases are notified each year and Irish health services will come under further pressure in the future if we don’t actively work to prevent new cases occurring and diagnose and treat the cases that have already occurred.

“Hepatitis C is often called ‘the silent pandemic’, because many patients are infected without knowing it and may only present in the very late stages when cirrhosis has already been established..

“A minority– estimated at 20-30% -develop cirrhosis of the liver, which typically appears two or three decades after infection. Those patients also suffer a higher risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer. The healthcare costs of these ‘end-stage conditions’ of hepatitis C can be substantial. They are the leading cause of liver transplants worldwide, including in Europe, the US and Japan.

“Anyone who may have put themselves at risk of hepatitis C, either through current activities or due to a past lifestyle should visit their GP and get tested.   While the majority of hepatitis C infections are related to injecting drug use, hepatitis C can also be acquired by any blood to blood contact,” said Dr Stewart. “Diagnostic tests are now relatively simple and the treatments are getting better and better with time”.


The HSE has produced a number of campaign materials including posters and videos urging people to ‘seek help, get tested’

The posters are available at www.hse.ie/hepc , while the videos are available at www.drugs.ie/hepc . World Hepatitis Day is an annual event, endorsed by the World Health Organization.  Each year it provides international focus for patient groups and people living with hepatitis B and C and provides an opportunity for interested groups to raise awareness and influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.

For further information please go to:


www.hse.ie/hepc ,


www.drugs.ie  ,


www.worldhepatitisalliance.org ,





Jul 24

PMA fact sheet

What is PMA / PMMA?
PMA (Paramethoxyamphetamine) and PMMA (Paramethoxymethamphetamine) are stimulants with
halluncinogenic effects similar to MDMA. However, they are toxic at lower doses than MDMA and can also
take longer to take effect. After the intake of a small amount of PMA/PMMA, blood pressure and body
temperature rise steeply. The effects can feel similar to MDMA, although less euphoric. Larger doses can
lead to coma and death.
Why should I know about PMA / PMMA?
If you take, or are planning to take ecstasy, you should know about PMA/PMMA. A number of pills recently
sold as ecstasy were tested and found to contain PMA/PMMA. PMA/PMMA is similar to MDMA – traditionally
the active ingredient in Ecstasy pills – but can kill at lower doses as it is more poisonous. These drugs
have been implicated in a number of hospitalisations and deaths. A number of people have died and their
symptoms included one or more of the following: extremely high body temperature; very rapid heart rate;
difficulties breathing or stopping breathing; and convulsions(fitting). Each of them thought that they were
taking ecstasy and consumed several PMA/PMMA pills, assuming it to be poor quality MDMA.
PMA/PMMA is currently in circulation in Ireland. Between December 2013 and May 2014, at least 6 people
in Ireland have had PMA/PMMA in their system when they died. Particularly implicated are ‘Green Rolexes’
and ‘Green Apples’. However, all pills should be treated with suspicion, as there is no visual way to tell the
contents of your pills.
What should I do?
It’s always safest not to take unknown or illicit drugs at all, but if you are going to use, be in the know:
› Start with half a pill, and wait two hours.
› If you don’t come up as quickly as expected, don’t assume you’ve got dud pills. PMA/PMMA can take
longer to take effect.
› If you don’t feel like you expect to feel, you may have taken PMA/PMMA. After taking PMA/PMMA, you
› Feel a little drunk, similar to the effects of alcohol.
› Have mild hallucinogen-like perceptions.
› Have pins and needles, a numb or furry sensation of the skin or numbness in your limbs.
› Never double drop. If your pills have PMA/PMMA in them, you’ll be in risky territory.
› Never mix your drugs. Alcohol, club drugs and prescribed drugs can all interact dangerously with PMA/
› If dancing, rehydrate with water or isotonic drinks regularly, but don’t go over a pint in an hour.
› Take breaks from dancing.
If you think you or a friend have taken PMA/PMMA:
› Don’t take any more.
› Don’t take other drugs.
› Seek medical advice.
For information on drugs and alcohol visit drugs.ie


Jun 26

Statement from Mr Y Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC 26 June 2014

Illicit drugs threaten people’s health and welfare. Up to 200,000 people die every year due to illicit drugs; but drugs do not just affect the user, they cause tremendous hardship and misery to families and loved ones.

Drug use disorders undermine close relationships, damage home lives, including those of children, and can ruin education and employment opportunities. Their impact is felt in communities, criminal justice systems and across society.

UNODC’s theme for this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking offers a message of hope: Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable.

Those who suffer from drug use disorders can be supported through evidence-based treatment, and many of those who die, do so from overdoses that are preventable. Children and young people must also be educated on the dangers of illicit drugs.

My message today has three components.

  • First. Sustained success against illicit drugs requires a balanced, cooperative, and integrated approach founded on the conventions that addresses both supply and demand reduction;
  • Second. A balanced approach includes comprehensive measures focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and social protection and cohesion; and
  • Third. Science holds the key. UNODC is bridging the gap between science and practice by fostering a dialogue between policy makers and the scientific community.

Together these elements form part of UNODC’s global mission to promote and support access to drug dependence treatment and care services and HIV prevention, for people who use drugs, in line with human rights standards.

On the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, it is important to remember that drug use disorders are preventable and treatable. That, where there is help, there is also hope.

Jun 26

International Day against Drug Abuse

June 26 is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987, this day serves as a reminder of the goals agreed to by Member States of creating an international society free of drug abuse.

The UnitedWDD14_logo_EN Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) selects themes for the International Day and launches campaigns to raise awareness about the global drug problem. Health is the ongoing theme of the world drug campaign.

We invite everyone to mark 26 June! It is a unique occasion to take a stand against a problem that affects us all. We count on your support to make this pro-health campaign a success.

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