News & Events


Recruiting f/t Case Worker:

The North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force is now recruiting for a full time Case Worker to work within the North Dublin Community Care Service team. This is an exciting opportunity to work in an innovative, frontline drug & alcohol service in North Dublin. Please refer to case_worker_jspec_July2017 for full details. Email CV and cover letter to The closing date to submit is 18th August 2017.


Alcohol Harm & Communities Conference Sept 7th!

Please save the date for North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force’s free conference, Alcohol Harm & Communities, on Sept 7th in The Grand Hotel, Malahide (9am registration opens). You must register to attend, so please email to secure your place! 

The aim of the conference is to promote the power of communities in reducing alcohol related harm, and to explore how we can all can support healthy mothers and babies. Confirmed speakers include: Dr Shane Butler, Ms Paula Leonard , Dr Hugh Gallagher, David Geery & Justin Gleeson.

If you are interested in attending, please register by emailing me at Places are limited so take this chance to register now!




Free Parenting-Support Workshops!

The Task Force is rolling out free parenting-support workshops!

The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is for people caring for children aged 2-12. Triple P gives parents simple tips to help manage the big & small problems of family life. Problems like toddler tantrums; self-esteem issues; bedtime battles; disobedience; aggression. Triple P can help you deal with them all – and more!

For more details please go to New dates for Autumn 2017 will be published soon, email to register your interest!

Drinks Meter – Free App!

The Drinks Meter app provides you with instant, anonymous, confidential feedback on your alcohol use. It compares your drinking against other people’s info in the Drinks Meter community to give unbiased & anonymous feedback. App is designed for use by over 18s.

Click on the image to go to Drinks Meter & let’s get thinking about our drinking!!

SAND App Launch!

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new drug & alcohol information app, SAND (Substance Abuse North Dublin). The launch took place on April 27th in Portmarnock Hotel, with local schools’ and youth services’ representatives present.

To download the app search ‘sand drugs’ in the app store!



Call to tender for Addiction Counsellor:

The North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force invites tenders from agencies and/or individuals for the provision of addiction counselling for 1 day (evening work may be expected) a week in North Fingal from August to December 2017. Please see Call to Tender_Addiction Counsellor_2017 document for full details. Closing date is August 11th, applications should be emailed to

SAOR Screening and Brief Intervention for Problem Alcohol & Substance Use: FREE One-Day  Training Course

Learning Outcomes: On completion of this course, participants should be able to:Aim – This course aims to prepare professionals to implement SAOR Screening and Brief Interventions (SBI) for problem alcohol/substance use.

  • Critically discuss problem alcohol and drug use as it impacts on their current work or area of practice
  • Demonstrate an enhanced knowledge and awareness of contemporary models of screening and brief intervention for problem alcohol and drug use
  • Identify problem alcohol and drug users who present in health and social care settings
  • Utilise the SAOR model of Screening & Brief Intervention (SBI) in practice based scenarios
  • Discuss the application of the SAOR model of screening and brief intervention for problem alcohol and drug use into their practice

How to Apply – Please contact by email only to register your interest.

Invitation to Tender!

North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force invites tenders for provision of Substance Use Supports for Travellers & New Communities in North Fingal. Tenders can be from agencies and/or individuals for the provision of frontline drug & alcohol services for Travellers & New Communities in North Fingal during 2017. The purpose of the post is to engage with Travellers & new communities in North Fingal who wish to move from problematic substance use. Further information on the work of the RDATF can be found on this website, and in attached document: Tender Drug & alcohol support travellers fingal.  Proposals should be submitted electronically to by 15th April 2017.

Invitation to Tender!

Fingal Children and Young People’s Services Committee wishes to invite tenders for an area based needs analysis of the current needs of children, young people and families in County Fingal. Full details can be found here –

World Health Day!

We had a great day celebrating World Health Day on April 7th 10am to 12.30pm. We offered healthy snacks, smoothies from The Green Straw & gave free health checks, and auricular acupuncture sessions!   see the pictures on our facebook page!

Gardening for Beginners!

If you are interested in gardening, then our (free!!) course may be for you! This morning course starts on April 24th and will run for eight weeks in Swords, and will be a mix of classroom and practical learning.

If interested please contact Karen 01 813 1786 or email Places are limited for this free training course.

Passed – Family Support 101

A free evening talk with our Family Support Specialist on Tues March 14th ~ 8pm to 9.30pm in the Little Theatre in Skerries Community Centre.

Are you concerned about a loved one’s drug or alcohol use? / Are you coping alone? / Would you like more information on drugs or alcohol? / Do you need support?  Then come along to our free evening talk and meet the North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force’s Family Support Specialist, Siobhan Maher!

New Family Support Specialist!

The Task Force is delighted to announce our new Family Support Service for people affected by another’s drug or alcohol use. Our new Family Support Specialist is Siobhan Maher. Siobhan started in Dec 2016 & comes to us from the national Family Support Network. If you would like to enquire about family support, or have any questions please call Siobhan here in the office on 01 813 1786!

Finished – Free Mechanics Course

A free Mechanics Course starting next week for Young People from North Fingal, aged 24 or under and not in education – OVER NOW.


Good News!!National Community Action on Alcohol Programme:

We are delighted to announce here at the North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force, we have been selected as a site for the National NCAAP (National Community Action on Alcohol Programme) for 2016. This is a huge honour for the task force, and will mean resources within our community are available for communities to come together and take action to enable change in how we view & use alcohol. The task force will be working with a range of stakeholders to develop a Community Alcohol Action Plan.

As our Chairperson, Darragh O’Brien TD, put it, “We need to recognise that, although alcohol is used for relaxation and enjoyment and it does contribute to the Irish economy, it also has major public health implications for individuals, families and the wider community. We are so proud to be leading out on this over the coming year and have a series of events and actions which will help us with delivering on our alcohol action plan thanks to the funding received from the Dormant Accounts Fund in Pobal.” Read the full article in the North County Leader here.

Dormant Accounts:

The Task Force has been successful in its application to Pobal for funding under the Dormant Accounts Fund. Among other things, such as a review of the Task Force’s drug & alcohol strategy, we will roll out a region-wide Alcohol Awareness-Raising ‘Roadshow’ in local communities within our catchment. A key part of this will be the development of a web-based interactive Drug & Alcohol support with information on: signs, symptoms, effects, brief intervention, and links to services. 

We will also (in partnership with other Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Forces in Ireland) deliver a high-impact National Conference on Alcohol (Oct 6th), which will focus on evidence based practise in responding to problematic alcohol use.

Dates of the Roadshow & Conference will follow, so watch this space! If you are have any queries call us on 01 813 1786!


CLOSED: We are recruiting a ‘Family Support Specialist’!

Here at the North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force we are now recruiting a Family Support Specialist.  The role is critical to the delivery of an evidence-informed strategy to support vulnerable families in North County Dublin. We are looking for a suitably qualified individual who is innovative and has a positive and enthusiastic approach to Family Support, and embraces new challenges.

For more information please see the Job Description-Family Support Specialist.

All applications should be sent to with CV and a cover letter before close of business on Wednesday, 28th September 2016.

For further enquires please contact Brid in North Dublin Regional DATF at 01 813 1786. The North Dublin RDATF will not accept responsibility for late applications.

Free Information Evening for parents/carers! ‘Shine a Light’ on drug and alcohol use among young people!

With support from Dormant Accounts (Pobal), we hosted a Drug & Alcohol Information session for parents & carers. We invited Dr. Adam Winstock, an addiction expert & consultant psychiatrist in London, to cover such topics as: Overview of drugs, new drugs and new trends; How to talk to your kids about drugs; Protective factors and what can we do as parents; When or what should we be worried about as parents. Click link for poster:  Parent Info Evening 26 or 27 APRIL

The information sessions ran in two locations for convenience:

Balbriggan (Bracken Court Hotel) Tuesday, April 26th 7pm to 9.30pm

Swords (Carnegie Court Hotel) Wednesday, April 27th 7pm to 9.30pm

The Task Force also invited local secondary schools, Tusla, Youth Services and other youth services in the north county Dublin area to an information workshop with Dr. Winstock on April 27th at 10am in Portmarnock Hotel, to complement the two parent information sessions, AND launched our new drug & alcohol information app, SAND too!

We had great engagement from the communities in the region, and would like to thank everyone who came and helped us promote the events!

INVITATION to TENDER for Strategic Review and Development of 3 year Action Plan

North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force (RDATF) is one of 10 Regional Drug & Alcohol Task forces in Ireland, set up in 2003 on foot of recommendations from the National Drugs Strategy (NDS), to facilitate a more effective response to the drugs problems in areas experiencing the highest levels of substance misuse.

North Dublin RDATF and its sub-structures bring together members, representing the community, voluntary and statutory sectors to develop and co-ordinate a collective and integrated response to drug & alcohol problems in the North Dublin region. This partnership work is carried out under key themes closely aligned with the National Drug Strategy;  (1) Prevention & Early Intervention (2) Community Impact & Crime, (3)Treatment & Rehabilitation and (4)Coordination & research

The North Dublin RDATF is now seeking expressions of interest from suitably experienced/qualified individuals or organisations to conduct a large scale review and to develop a 3 year (2016-2019) Regional Drug & Alcohol strategy which includes a clearly defined action plan to deliver the strategy.

This work should incorporate the following:

  • Literature review (cognisant of national, regional and local policy frameworks & documents)
  • Analysis of Demographic data to build a profile of the North Dublin RDATF area
  • An identification of emerging needs and gaps in service provision
  • Review of resource allocation to the North Dublin RDATF area (both drug and non-drug specific)
  • Examine evidence based models & strategies in existence

It is envisaged that the contractor will undertake, at minimum, the following activities to achieve the requirements tender

1) Conduct extensive consultation with key informants from the area

2) Conduct focus groups with key community stakeholders from area

3) Prepare a strategic review and 3 year drug and alcohol strategy for the North Dublin RDATF which must include a clear outline of actions to achieve the named and expected

Timeframe – The deadline for receipt of tenders is 1700hrs on Thursday 25th February 2016. No responsibility for late arrival of emails or correspondence will be accepted by the North Dublin RDATF.

Contact & Queries: Brid Walsh, Regional DATF Coordinator, North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force, Unit 25, Town Centre Mall,  Swords, Co Dublin. Tel: 01  813 1786. Email:

Job Opportunity!!

The North Dublin Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force is now recruiting for a full time Case Worker to work within the North Dublin Community Care Service team. This is an exciting opportunity to work in an innovative, frontline drug & alcohol service in North Dublin.

The closing date to submit a current CV and covering letter is 25th January 2016. Click this link for the Job Description case_worker_jspec_jan_2016.

Alcohol Use Conference – 8 & 9 October 2015

The Task Force’s TWO Alcohol Educational events were a resounding success. Many thanks to everyone who attended, to the speakers and particularly Dr Adam Winstock and Dr Gerry McCarney.  The first of the events was a conference on Oct 8th entitled: ‘Alcohol Through the Ages – From the Cradle to the Grave’ .  The conference heard from experts regarding the impact of alcohol on individuals, family and health services and Dr Winstock took delegates through the impact of alcohol throughout a person’s life during his keynote.

Dr Winstock also delivered a clinical masterclass on Friday Oct 9th, Alcohol: Assessing, Monitoring & Managing Dependence & Withdrawal.

Both events were open to GPs and other support professionals working with people & families in North Co Dublin/Nrt Fingal affected by drugs and alcohol.  The events were held in the Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links on Oct 8 & 9 2015.  Email for more info, or follow the link to the programme! Conference & Training Programme-Oct2015

Adam winstock2Adam Winstock    Dr Winstock & Dr McCarney Chair opens ConfBrid Walsh & Darragh OBrienpacked room 8.10.15

“Whose Patient is it Anyway?” Mental Health & Substance Use Specialist Training & Conference, May 14th & 15th 2015

We were delighted to welcome back Dr Adam Winstock, Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust & Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, to share his expertise and knowledge in the areas of mental health & substance use with us.

The event was a resounding success and feedback from attendees was positive with many looking forward to the event in October, when the TF will organise another conference addressing alcohol issues.  Please follow the link  for Training Programme-14.5.15 & conference programme.

Both Events were held in the Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links.

Dr Winstock MD MRCPsych MRCP FAChAM, is a Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London.  He is also founder and director of Global Drug Survey which runs the world’s biggest annual survey of drug use trends and is also the architect of the online & smart phone apps the drugs meter and drinksmeter, & creator of the free on line harm reduction guide, the Global Drug Survey High-Way Code

If you require any further information please email or call 01 813 1786.


Dr Winstock, B Walsh, Senator O’Brien, Dr McCarney


Slide welcoming delegates to event


Drug Debt Intimidation Training – March 25th 2015 at 9am in Portmarnock Hotel, Co Dublin

The fear of intimidation as a result of drug related debt is an issue that has confronted services for many years. The promotion of interagency working is a core facet of quality service provision and in responding to the issue of intimidation. Services such as Family Support can play a key role in developing responses to intimidation. This training is run in partnership with the National Family Support Network (NFSN) and the Garda Síochána, and builds on a project between Gardaí and the NFSN around responding to intimidation through an interagency approach.

This training aims to support both family support workers and other workers to facilitate family members or service users experiencing intimidation, to understand the options available to them and to avail of supports if they wish to do so. Click here for information flyer or contact the Task Force for more information

Information Evening for Fingal County Councillors, Aug 28th2014

All county councillors were invited to attend the Task Force office for an information evening, where those who attended heard about the work of the task force and local drug specific services


A/CRA Practitioners Training, Aug 20-22 2014

3 days training in Adolescent and Adult Community Reinforcement Approach (ACRA & CRA) for working with Drug and Alcohol users.  Introduction to the philosophy and approach along with practice sessions in each of the procedures involved in both models.  Delivered by Accredited Irish CRA & ACRA trainers.

Cannabis Information Conference, May 2014

The Task Force hosted a Cannabis Conference in May 2014, open to all services that interact with cannabis users from GPs to Youth Workers to Sports Clubs to Addiction Counsellors.  The key contributor was Dr Adam Winstock, Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist (South London and Maudsley NHS Trust), founder of Global Drugs Survey and Honorary Senior Lecturer (Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London).  The conference was also addressed by Vince Rellis, North Dublin Community Care Service; Brian Friel, Peter McVerry Trust; Dr Gerry McCarney (HSE SASSY Service).

The conference was a huge success, in terms of content and quality information and in terms of interagency networking and shared experiences.

Session 1:

Dr Adam Winstock: Cannabis: Effects, Modes, Harms And Why They Matter?

Community Solutions to a Community Problem (North Dublin Community Care Service; Peter McVerry Trust; SASSY) – An Overview of New Community Based Supports for Cannabis Users in North Dublin County

Session 2:

Dr Adam Winstock: Reducing Harm, Supporting Cessation &The Role of the GP




CRA Train the Trainer Assessment, March 2014

In conjunction with Dr Bob Meyers and his colleague Dr. Hendrik Roozen, and on behalf of the National Addiction Training Programme sub-group on A/CRA & CRAFT, a Train the Trainers Assessment was carried out by Dr Meyers resulting in 10 new trainers in A/CRA and CRAFT  in Ireland and ensuring CRA’s sustainability in Ireland.