In 2003 the North Dublin City and County Regional Drugs Task Force was set up by the government along with 9 other Regional Drug Task Forces in Ireland to develop and implement plans to respond to drug problems in our areas.

In 2014 the Task Force was incorporated as a limited company (without Share Capital) in Dublin, Number 544852, and all Task Force remits were extended to include alcohol. The Task Force subsequently changed its name to the North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force.

We bring local government and non-government services together with the local community to work in partnership on tackling this problem that affects us all for Community Solutions to Community Problems.

Drug and alcohol problems affect communities in many ways so the RDATF develops plans to address problematic drug/alcohol use under key areas identified in the National Drugs Strategy.

RDATF Committee:
The RDATF committee consists of representatives from the statutory, community and voluntary sectors. It is a partnership approach to tacking substance misuse at a regional level. It has active sub-committees and a working group that meet regularly to ensure that needs of the region, in terms of substance misuse, are being met and are in line with best practice.

RDATF Sub-Committees
All of our Sub-Committees have members who have particular expertise in that area & who work together to advise the Task Force.
(1) Addiction Continuum: the members of this group work on identifying gaps and improving services for people in the community with alcohol/drug problems.
(2) Prevention & Early Intervention: these members work on plans to raise awareness of issues regarding drugs & alcohol and reduce the likelihood of people developing problems with alcohol and drugs. This group also has reps with expertise and knowledge of drug-related crime and advise the Task Force on how to respond to this.
(3) Administration & Finance: This group oversees the Task Force’s financial & audit responsibilities, and other statutory responsibilities.
(4) Research Working Group: convened to oversee specific pieces of work as they arise e.g. evaluations, needs analysis, awareness-raising campaigns etc.

Our Role and Structure
The role of the RDATF includes the following:
• Gather and build up really good information on drug and alcohol use and activity in the area;
• Use this information to develop a plan to tackle the problem, which may involve funding too;
• Ensure the development of a coordinated and integrated response to drug and alcohol problems;
• Identify and address gaps in service provision with regard to evidence available on the extent, and specific location, of illicit drug use in the region.

The RDATF’s is headed up by Brid Walsh, Regional Coordinator with a small dedicated team made up of the Family Support Specialist (Siobhan Maher), Finance Support Administrator (p/t) (Shirley Groves), Health Promotion and Training Coordinator (Richie Stafford), and Family Support Worker (Katie Murphy).

The North Dublin Community Care Service is staffed by : Barbara O’Neill (Client Services’ Coordinator), and case workers: Aine McDonough, Catherine Meleady, Garrett Redmond, and Lar Murphy. Peter Brazel is the service’s Addiction Counsellor. Karen Reid and Stephen Boland are the Administration staff (both p/t).

Part of our work is to commission services to help us address drug and alcohol problems in our area. The TF receives funding from the Department of Health, Drugs Programme’s Unit, which we allocate to different projects every year.

RDATF FUNDED PROJECTS – List of supports provided/funded by the North Dublin Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force

Youth Identification and Engagement Teams:

  • YSS Team in Crosscare Youth Service (Swords & Balbriggan)

Ph: (01) 8405100

Catchment Areas: Swords, Kinsealy, Donabate, Portrane, Ballyboughal, Rolestown, St Margarets, Malahide, Portmarnock, Rivermeade.  Balbriggan (urban and rural), Skerries, Lusk, Rush, Naul, Oldtown

Key programs offered:

  • Identification & Engagement – To support young people (aged 10-24) whom are using substances and provide direct supports in the community (ACRA) or refer the young people to other services for more intensive support if required.
  • Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (ACRA) – This approach is currently provided by the workers on a one to one basis and sometimes in a group format.
  • Young Persons Support Program – This support program is for young people affected by substance use (whether parental, sibling, other relative or friend). The program is a ten week program that aims to improve the young person’s coping skills.
  • 5 Step Progam – This intervention is provided for parents looking for support around a young person’s substance use.
  • Drug Education – Both teams are available to provide support to secondary schools in their catchment areas. The teams are available to supplement or support teachers in delivering drug education.  They can provide a talk for the young people about the supports available and how to access them in line with the Department of Education guidelines.
  • They can also provide tailormade drug education information sessions for teachers/parents.

Youth Substance Misuse Counsellor (Crosscare Drug and Alcohol Program)

Una Scully (Counsellor)                                         Ph: 086 0142077

Catchment Areas: Balbriggan, Skerries, lusk, Rush, Donabate/portrane, rural Fingal including Oldtown, Naul, Ballyboughal, Rolestown, Garristown, St Margarets, Swords, Malahide, Portmarnock)

Supports Offered: One to one substance misuse counselling for young people aged 12-25.

Counselling re Substance Abuse Service Specific to Youth (SASSY)

Adolescent Counsellor: Anne Marie Bourke        Ph: (01) 8566837

Catchment Area: all of North Dublin, specifically covers North Fingal.

Supports Offered: SASSY is a specialist substance misuse service for young people under 18 years of age. SASSY provides one to one counselling, family sessions and interventions, psychiatric assessments and medication (where clinical needs determine) and family therapy. At least four sessions are usually completed but this can vary depending on the needs of the young person. Visit their page on the HSE’s website.

North Dublin Community Care Service

Ph: 01 223 3493 (option 3)     Email:     Web:

Catchment Area: Balbriggan, Skerries, lusk, Rush, Donabate/portrane, rural Fingal including Oldtown, Naul, Ballyboughal, Rolestown, Garristown, St Margarets, Swords, Malahide, Portmarnock.

Services offered: The North Dublin Community Care Service is a free & confidential community-based support service in north county Dublin for people who are experiencing problems with their own or a loved one’s drug and/or alcohol use.

You can refer yourself in – just phone or email the team.

Fingal Families – a Family Support Service for North Dublin

Family Support Specialist, Siobhan Maher        Ph: (01) 223 3493

Services offered: Siobhan can link families into any of the supports below and also provide more practical support to families who are affected by substance use in their family.

  • Family Support Counselling – The Task Force funds up to 6 sessions of counselling for family members affected by a loved one’s substance use (alcohol or other drugs).
  • Family support group – The 5 step family support group is for people affected by a loved one’s substance use.
  • Triple P – Positive Parenting Program – These FREE workshops are available in Swords and Balbriggan. Parents can attend one or all workshops as they wish.

Traveller Community & New Communities Substance Use Support Service.

Tom Kearns, Case Worker can be contacted through the Task Force or the Community Care Service, called 01 223 3493 for information.

Services offered: Provision of frontline drug & alcohol services for Travellers & new communities in North Fingal. The purpose of the post is to engage with Travellers & new communities in North Fingal who wish to move from problematic substance use.

SAND (Substance Abuse North Dublin) App

We have developed an app for young people and their parents (in consultation with a group of youth from the area). It is an educational drug and alcohol app. To download please search for “sand drugs” in google play or the apple store.

If you need any more information about these or any other services, please contact the Task Force’s office on (01) 223 3493.