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CHAIRPERSON’S FOREWORD


DIRECTOR’S REPORT


INTRODUCTION


DEVELOPMENT OF THIS PLAN


INTRO DUCTION


Ana Liffey Drug Project was


established in 1982, providing services to drug users in Dublin’s City Centre. The


organisation pursued a harm reduction philosophy –


something that was unique to


Ireland at the time. Simply put, harm reduction encompasses a set of practical, evidence based strategies that reduce the negative consequences of


problem substance use. A harm reduction approach recognises that, for some people, problem substance use is a part of the human condition. Ana Liffey neither condemns nor


promotes substance use, but chooses to address its consequences practically.


In 1982 this was a radical concept in the Irish context, as the response was exclusively on abstinence based approaches. Over the past 30 years this landscape has changed significantly. Harm reduction is no longer a radical approach; it is a mainstream response to problem substance use at a national strategic level. Harm reduction and abstinence are no longer viewed as opposing ideologies, but as different points on the same continuum, where the continuum is focused on the needs of the individual service user.


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