Limerick: Harm Reduction Treatment Programme for Individuals who Misuse Cannabis.
UPDATE: The organisers intend to recruit for a new programme to start in Jan 2015.
Cannabis is by far the most widely used illicit drug in Ireland. A significant number of individuals who use cannabis develop problems in relation to their use.
The HSE Mid West Drug & Alcohol Service is piloting a group treatment programme for individuals who are considering changing their pattern of cannabis (weed/hash) use.
This group is suitable for those whose primary drug of choice is cannabis and who want to
- Explore if they want to change their use
- Cut down on the amount they use
- Abstain from use
- Reduce the harm related to their use
It may be of particular interest to those who have identified problems as a result of their use and those who are concerned about developing a dependency
This is a new treatment intervention provided by the HSE Mid West Drug & Alcohol Service. The aim is to enable individuals to develop a way of living with which they are more content. To experience a more satisfying and happier life every day.
This can be achieved by reducing the harmful consequences of using cannabis. Participating in the course will enable participants to cut down on their use, stop using cannabis or use in a less harmful way.
The treatment intervention consists of one meeting with the facilitator and six group sessions delivered over 6 weeks. It will be held at Limerick Drug & Alcohol Service, Mungret Street, Limerick. The programme will start on Wednesday September 18th and run from 2-4pm.
The meeting with the facilitator will be a one to one session of one hour duration. This will be an assessment session to determine the suitability and motivation of each individual to participate in the programme.
The 6 group sessions will be provided on consecutive weeks and will be of 2 hours duration, consisting of two 50 minute sessions with a 20 min break in the middle. The sessions will be based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI) approaches.
The 6 group sessions will include the following topics
- Reasons and strategies to change
- Dealing with cravings/high risk situations
- Enhancing social support networks
- Relapse prevention
- Dealing with problems
The use of MI and CBT and is based on evidence that exists as to the efficacy of these therapies in initiating and maintaining change.
The programme being offered is an adaptation of the programme. MET (Motivational Enhancement Therapy) & CBT for Adolescent Cannabis Users produced by the University of Connecticut in conjunction with the US Centre for Substance Use Treatment.
The number accepted on the programme is limited to eight. Participants are required to be of 18 years of age or older and living in Co Clare, Limerick or North Tipperary.
Referrals will be prioritised for acceptance on the programme based on date of referral.
This is subject to suitability for the programme based on fulfilling the assessment criteria.
Individuals who would like to participate in the programme may self refer. Alternatively referrals may come with the permission of the client from 3rd parties including
- Concerned relatives
- Relevant agency e.g. probation service, G.P.
Referral agents can be informed of client’s acceptance onto and attendance at the programme with the consent of the client.
1. The individual self referring or 3rd party wishing to refer should contact one of the facilitators by phone or text (Mark Campbell or Justin Sherin) at Limerick Drug & Alcohol Service 061 318633, 086 3847075 or 087 2051958. The facilitator will take personal details of the person being referred. He can discuss with you the suitability of the course for the individual in question being referred.
2. An appointment will be arranged to meet the individual to discuss the programme and assess the client’s suitability.
3. It may be determined at assessment that the individual’s needs cannot be met by the programme. In these circumstances the reasons for this will be outlined to the individual and can be given to the referrer with the consent of the client. Information will be given as to services that may be more appropriate for the individual to access.
Reasons an individual would not be suitable include factors that would prevent meaningful engagement in the programme. Factors such as acute psychiatric disturbance and the primary drug of choice being other than cannabis.
The existing confidentiality policy of the HSE Mid West Drug & Alcohol service will apply. Confidentiality will be discussed with individuals at the first meeting.
The operation of the group falls under the clinical governance of the HSE Mid West Drug & Alcohol Service.