On Friday Dessie Ellis TD for Dublin North West and long term community activist in Finglas and Ballymun, dropped by to say hello to the participants of Sankalpa and hear their concerns in relation to the proposed cuts to CE. Dessie made the participants feel at ease and everyone had an opportunity to express their concerns about the cuts to drug services, which are so badly needed in our communities. There was an interesting discussion in relation to methadone and whether Suboxone an alternative treatment to methadone such be considered. Many of the participants expressed concerns about how long people end up on methadone and how trapped they can feel on it. Dessie was very keen to hear the stories from the participants, as he said there was a debate going on in Europe in relation to methadone and its effectiveness. Services like Sankalpa are an essential part of the treatment and rehabilitation cycle, in that it offers people a way of of addiction and off drugs completely. But as Tom highlighted ‘Education is the key to unlocking their way out of addiction. Its easy to remove the drugs and do several detoxes, but its through education that you can make recovery sustainable’.
The meeting with Dessie has been part of Sankalpa’s increasing awareness campaign about the need for more effective rehabilitation services. Over the recent months we have met with John Lyons TD, Pascal O Donoghue TD and Roisin Shortall TD and Junior Minister with responsibility for the National Substance Misuse Strategy.