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Saol Project

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Saol Project

Mission Statement
Saol is a community project focused on improving the lives of women affected by addiction and poverty

Vision Statement
Saol is working towards transforming the way in which Ireland responds to addiction and poverty.

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Reduce the Use 2

Saol re-launched Reduce the Use in the form of RTU2 in November 2011. RTU2 is updated for polydrug use but is still out main response to cocaine/crack. We run at least one group per week in SAOL (aside from individual programmes for those for whom group work is less helpful) as well as groups in the Thompson Centre and the Dochas Centre. We have also trained over 100 professionals throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland in using this resource and there are 30+ Projects throughout Ireland providing RTU2 groups.

Reduce the Use 2 is available for download by clicking on the second image below; the first image is a new 'supplement' document to assist those using RTU2 with particpants with gambling issues.

Supplementary Worksheets/Handouts

The main manual is down-loadable below. However, we have adapted the appropriate worksheets and handouts for those working with people for whom gambling is their concern. These are accessible by clicking on the picture below:


Like a lot of other social issues, it appears that drug dependency will always be with us in the North Inner City. Emerging bloody, battle scarred but undefeated from the consecutive heroin epidemics that have wracked Dublin, it now appears that the North Inner City is in the grip of yet another drug crisis - a cocktail of drugs, known professionally as poly drug use. Cocaine was once considered a luxury drug for the elite, now is known to be a dangerous drug that is affecting individuals, families and local communities; it has been joined by head shop drugs, prescribed drugs, drugs sourced on the internet, home grown cannabis and cheap alcohol. And don't foget that heroin and methadone are still there too.

Crack, which is the smokable form of cocaine is becoming increasingly popular among traditional opiate users. Community groups are finding the impact of crack cocaine use is as bad as heroin and sometimes worse, with the physical and psychological impacts more extreme. Unlike heroin there is no methadone maintenance option. Whioe crystal meth seems on the cusp of being a serious issue too, it doesn't seem to have taken hold as yet - but watch this space.

“A climate of fear is surrounding the topic of crack use and an insidious and unwitting culture of hopelessness has crept into the collective consciousness” (From ‘Review of Crack Cocaine: The Open Door’, Christopher Robin and Kenneth Lordan, 2007)

As a response to this 'new' drugs crisis, the SAOL Project developed specific, practical, culturally appropriate tools in response to this new drugs crisis. Reduce the Use 2 and the Cocaine Relapse Worksheets are based on principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and are freely available below.

Very simply put CBT attempts to help people recognise, avoid and cope. That is, to recognise the situations in which they are most likely to use cocaine to avoid these situations when appropriate and cope more effectively with a range of problems and problematic behaviour associated with substance abuse.

It is also based on teaching a number of skills and ways of thinking that are useful in translating desired behavioural changes into actualities. The skills training is designed to help cocaine users unlearn old habits associated with their cocaine use and learn or relearn healthier skills.

SAOL has employed a designated Cocaine Worker to work with individuals, families and the wider community. Barry Costello has a background in addiction work and has qualified with a BA in Applied Addiction Studies and is also MIAAAC. He has a particular interest in Mindfulness and trained with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, England in MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy).

“The skill of working with the crack cocaine user, or any drug user is to be able to translate theory into practice” (Robin and Lordan, 2007)

Training in Reduce the Use

SAOL is available to come and deliver training in Reduce the Use 2 for any agency or group of professionals that would like to learn more - free of charge (we will ask for petrol money, though). Contact Ger or Barry for more details


In November 2011 SAOL launched Reduce the Use 2 to assist projects to meet the needs of clients presenting with poly drug use and addiction. This pack was created by SAOL with the input of local projects, services and clients - and offers a 10 module programme for helping participants reduce or stop drug or alcohol use. It is downloadable here, for free.

This 10 module course was designed for groups of clients who wish to reduce or stop their poly drug use use. Initial trials have proved very successful in motivating personal positive change and providing a deeper understanding of addiction. This course can be run by anyone experienced in addiction work and group facilitation. The course contains all you will need to run the programme including facilitator instructions, worksheets and visual aids.

Download manual by clicking on the picture above.

Download SAOL's launch presentation at the National Drug Conference of Ireland by clicking here.

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