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ID: 355

Type of submission: Oral

Conference track: Advocacy

Topics: Drug Consumption Rooms/Safer Injecting Facilities; Drug Policy Reform and Advocacy

Presenting author: Marcus Keane

Presenting author biography:

No biography entered.

Influencing Drug Policy: Making the case for Medically Supervised Injecting Facilities in Dublin.

Tony Duffin, Marcus Keane

In January 2012 the Ana Liffey Drug Project (ALDP) published its strategic plan which included, for the first time, the following goals:

2.1 Advocate, secure stakeholder support and plan for the establishment of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) by September 2013.
2.2 Subject to above and necessary legislative amendments, pilot a MSIC in Dublin offering a practical and safer alternative to public injecting by December 2014.

In November 2016 the Irish Government will publish a Head of Bill which, when enacted, will allow for the existence of Supervised Injecting Facilities (SIF) in Ireland. The Minister for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD, recently announced that funding has been allocated within the Irish Governments 2017 budget to support the provision of a pilot SIF in Dublin City Centre.

This presentation tells the story of how the ALDP, a front line service provider with over 30 years of experience, led the call for SIFs to address the significant level of public injecting of drugs in Dublin City Centre.

Through narrative the presentation will explain how the ALDP:
- Identified and communicated its case
- Identified and worked with stakeholders
- Engaged with the media

The presentation will give examples of the key players who have brought Ireland to the point of enacting this progressive drug policy. The presentation will provide key take home messages that delegates will find insightful and useful - it is hoped that some strategies described with in the presentation could be employed in other jurisdictions to similar effect.