National Research exploring the experiences of Travellers using Drugs Services

This news release was made on 03 November 2011.  The report referred to is now available here:

Pavee Pathways

Presentation given at National Drugs Conference (2mb, PPTX)

UPDATED:  Video on the research is now available below:

Pavee Point: National research exploring the experiences of Travellers using drug services from Andy Osborn on Vimeo.

Report: ‘National research exploring the experiences of Travellers using drug services’

November 3rd, 2011 official launch of Good Practice Guidelines at 11.30 – 2.00 (open to the media)

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin.

Pavee Point launches ‘Pavee Pathways – Good practice guidelines for drug and alcohol services working with Travellers’, during the National Drugs Conference of Ireland this morning.

These guidelines were developed following a year-long piece of research carried out with 30 drug misusing Travellers from across Ireland to see what works for them when engaging in support services.

According to John Paul Collins of the Pavee Point Drugs Programme:

“A number of barriers to accessing drug services had previously been identified for members of the Traveller community so this research wanted to find out how these 30 Travellers overcame them and what they felt works for them in tackling their addiction.”

Ten guidelines for services providers were developed from the findings which will influence how services engage with members of the Traveller community in the future.

Key findings include:

  • Traveller women are equally at risk of drug abuse despite a perception within the community that it is a male issue
  • Almost a third of Traveller women interviewed said heroin was their first substance used
  • Due to difficulties with establishing trust, nearly half of those interviewed said they were uncomfortable asking for help
  • The recognition of someone’s cultural background and the influence it can play on addiction and recovery is essential

The guidelines will be available on line following the launch at as will an explanatory DVD featuring Travellers who took part.

Notes to the editor:

  • Just over 36,000 Travellers live in the Republic of Ireland, roughly the same as the population in Blanchardstown
  • 427 Travellers accessed drug treatment facilities in 2010 according to the National Drug Treatment Recording System ·         This represents over 1% of the entire Traveller population
  •  The same figure for the non-Traveller population is 0.4%
  •  ‘Pavee Pathways’ – will be launched as part of the National Drugs Conference of Ireland which is a two day event attracting many international speakers.