Sinn Féin Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has called for support for Sinn Fein’s Community Addiction and Recovery Strategy.

The policy document seeks to revolutionise how addiction and recovery are approached in Ireland, by viewing addiction as a healthcare issue and calling for a community-led approach.

Speaking today, Teachta Crowe said:

“Everyone who experiences addiction deserves timely support to help them towards recovery and ensure they get the support they need. We must be ambitious in our vision for addressing addiction and delivering for people who are affected.

“Our proposals incorporate a community-led model, which views addiction as a healthcare issue. They would be a first step in addressing the harm caused by addiction in Dublin South West.

“It’s time to listen to the experts and view addiction as a healthcare issue. This is the best way to ensure people get the help that they need to recover.

“Our proposals also outline how we would move towards a model of community-led sustainability and recovery that would allow the identification and tackling of area-specific issues.

“We would ring fence a percentage of money from CAB seizures to support Drug and Alcohol Taskforces in establishing and maintaining community services and supports and ensure that the funding returns to the communities most affected by the illicit drug trade. Having such a funding stream would allow groups to react to emerging crises such as new drugs or increased drug related intimidation.

“As part of this community-led approach, we would also create sports grants for clubs and organisations inclusive of those in recovery.

“The establishment of a women’s One Stop Shop will support the most vulnerable women in addiction in accessing many of the much-needed services in one place. Too often, women especially struggle to match caring roles with the numerous appointments and this one stop shop will consolidate these so that everything from healthcare to social welfare support can be found in one place.

“A pilot project – modelled similarly to Housing First – will see those leaving addiction treatment be given access to their own apartment and wraparound services for those vital months as they transition back into their community. Almost every group I met raised this time as the most difficult for people attempting recovery. We believe that supporting people when they are making the right choices will enable them to continue on the path to recovery.

“Recognising that substance misuse harms the whole community and not just the individual is at the core of Sinn Féin’s approach to addiction. We will be there to support communities to recover from the harm addiction has caused to them. We have listened to services and we know that the people on the ground, day in and day out, are the experts.

“Our proposals are an ambitious and deliverable vision for supporting people with addiction and wider communities in Dublin South West. I believe that these policies would revolutionise how the government approaches these issues and finally empower people affected to get the change they want to see.”

The document can be read here