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Reduce the use - 3rd Edition

SAOL’s experience within North Inner City Dublin has led us to consider the impact of context on our participants. We are an addiction project, but addiction is rarely alone. We work with women and children already marginalised by the impact of poverty, escalating violence, class, racism, social isolation, past trauma, sex-based discrimination and other social inequalities.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that we need to look at these factors and how they affect people’s vulnerability to and capacity for effectively dealing with drug-related harms.

Reduce the Use 3, therefore has developed an emphasis on poly drug use in context.

Full Facilitator Guidelines and Handouts for the 12 Modules are available for download. We recommend that you read through Sections 1 – 4 to help you prepare for running Reduce the Use groups.

Launched on 7th March 2018

To access this newly edited, expanded and revised, please click on the image below.

Evaluation of Reduce the Use by Community Participants

The evaluation by our participants is launched alongside the new Reduce the Use.  This evaluation was completed by a group of SAOL participants who were studying research skills with Deirdre McCarthy from Dublin city Coop.

The evaluation can be downloaded by clicking on the image - more details will follow after the launch

Supplementary Worksheets/Handouts on Gambling

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 SAOLfor more details

Back 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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