BALLYMUN COMMUNITY ALCOHOL STRATEGY Hugh Greaves Co-ordinator, Ballymun Local Drugs Task Force January 16th, 2014 Background • In community consultations the Ballymun Local Drugs Task Force was repeatedly asked to address alcohol related issues • In 2009 BLDTF and the Safer Ballymun (community policing forum) brought local statutory, community and voluntary service providers together to discuss alcohol related harm in the area at our first ‘Roundtable’ event. • First Roundtable on alcohol related harm in Ballymun, March 2009 Local Gardaí, Teachers, GPs, Hospital A&E Depts., Youth Workers, Drugs Workers, Priests & Nuns, Public representatives (Local and National, all party), Social Workers, Local retailers/businesses, Dublin City Council, HSE, BRL Roundtable discussion on alcohol related harm in Ballymun Community Consultation “when you see the sun shining in Ballymun you know it’s going to be a bad evening” (participant at community consultation event, June 2010) “even if you’re skint you can get drunk for a tenner” (participant at youth consultation event, June 2010) Agreement to collectively address alcohol related harm in Ballymun • At the first roundtable event, each of the organisations present agreed to become part of a collective response to address alcohol related harm/issues (community mobilisation) • It was agreed to do so in a ‘community-systemic way’, learning from effective, evidence based responses elsewhere. • Series of roundtables (2010,2011,2012, 2013) established strategy, reviewed/refined actions and planned others. Approach • The Ballymun Community Alcohol Strategy takes a public-health based (total consumption) approach • It is modelled on community mobilisation (Harold Holder, 1998) principles where all local actors have an important part to play and are equally involved. • Underpinned by a number of key principles (evidence informed, community development, multi-agency partnership approach) Ballymun Plan launched in June 2010 So what are we trying to do? We are trying to reduce alcohol related harm by • Increasing awareness of alcohol as a community issue – by local people, local public reps, statutory and voluntary services/agencies and therefore alter its role in determining the local alcohol environment (from passive to proactive) • Influencing the attitudes and norms of the local population towards a change in its behaviour around alcohol • Changing the local environmental systems which foster and promote a harmful drinking culture The strategy seeks to address alcohol in Ballymun through 41 actions across the following pillars Policy & Research Harm Reduction Supply Reduction, Availability & Enforcement Community Awareness Prevention Treatment & & Rehabilitation Education Supply, Availability & Enforcement • Enforcement of existing Laws • Monitoring of Off Licences • Actions to address Home Deliveries (e.g. DPP) • Information Sessions for Off Licences • Responsible Trader Training • Responsible Server Training • Early identification /interruption of public drinking (e.g. St. Patrick’s Day etc.) • Influencing process re new license applications Community Awareness of Alcohol as an Issue Using Local Media Communicating Key Messages Some Key Messages Community Awareness/Engagement Events Family Skills Street & centre based education / interventions “Tackling Alcohol Together Weeks” Treatment, Rehabilitation & Harm Reduction CRA Training CommunityReinforcement Approach Treatment, Rehabilitation and Harm Reduction (cont’d) • Providing a community based integrated alcohol care pathway project in partnership with Finglas/Cabra and Dublin North Regional DTFs which includes supported health interventions, withdrawal and detox for those with primary alcohol problems • Ensuring existing BLDTF projects fully embrace alcohol as part of their core remit Conclusion Local mobilisation across regions would change our perceived powerlessness in the face of alcohol. DTFs can play a key role in leading out local mobilisations. A National Strategy which provides a structure supporting bottom-up, collective, community action, would lead to a changed local (and national) alcohol environment.