Drug Alcohol Addiction Programme

Welcome to Pavee Point’s Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction Programme (DAAP)

For over 20 years, Pavee Point’s Drugs, Alcohol and Addiction programme (DAAP) has been addressing significant substance misuse issues within the Traveller and Roma communities. We view substance misuse through the lens of social determinants, understanding addiction primarily as a result of trauma caused by poverty, poor living conditions, exclusion, racism, and discrimination experienced by the Traveller and Roma communities.

Guiding Principles 

Our programme is informed and guided by community development principles and values, which we apply in all our work with individuals, community networks, service providers, and government agencies.

Programme Aims

  1. Strengthen Participation: Increase Traveller involvement in addressing substance misuse issues.
  2. Develop Analysis: Support and develop a Traveller-specific understanding of substance misuse issues.
  3. Ensure Inclusion: Advocate for Traveller inclusion in all relevant drug policy and research.
  4. Provide Training: Develop and deliver training for services working with Travellers.
  5. Support Organisations: Assist Traveller organisations in responding to substance use.

Collective Response 

We are active on local, regional and national levels, participating in significant groups, such as:

We collaborate closely with local services, management, and project workers to support a coordinated response to Traveller and Roma substance misuse. Our partnerships include working with the HSE and Coolmine to develop and support the Coolmine Traveller Outreach project.

Policy Work

We promote and support Traveller inclusion and representation on external bodies, such as Drugs Task Forces and relevant committees. In collaboration with the Health Research Board, we advocate for the use of ethnic identifiers within a human rights framework to collect data on Traveller drug use patterns. Our policy engagement includes representing Travellers on the National Drug Strategies’ Strategic Implementation Group 2, where we lobby for improved policies and strategic actions to enhance Traveller-specific addiction infrastructure and mainstream services.

Community Work 

In partnership with UISCE, we support the Traveller Peer Drugs Advisory Board, which comprises members of the Traveller community with lived experience of substance misuse. This group works on:

  1. Policy Influence: Influence drug and alcohol policy to improve the situation for Travellers.
  2. Highlight Addiction: Raise awareness of Traveller addiction and its relation to racism.
  3. Change Attitudes: Shift community attitudes to encourage more people to seek help.

National Traveller Drug Network 

Hosted by the Pavee Point Drug and Alcohol Programme, the network organiszes and facilitates meetings and working groups. This process involves information sharing to support a Traveller analysis of addiction. We use this network to promote and lobby for Traveller inclusion in national policy initiatives, such as the National Drugs Strategy – Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery 2017-2025, and other relevant local, regional, or national initiatives.

Research and Submissions:

The DAAP Team supports research and develops policy submissions and positions. In 2023, we produced both a video and written submission to the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use, successfully advocating for Traveller inclusion. We also supported Travellers in directly addressing the assembly. This year, we will assist the Eastern Region Traveller Health Unit (ER THU) in a commissioned study led by Professor Aileen O’Gorman from the University of the West of Scotland. The study aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of substance use and drug-related harms in the Traveller community through interviews, focus groups, and data analysis. The findings will inform future policy and practice to better address Traveller community needs.

Services Directory 

For support accessing a programme, please reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to help. The links below, provided by the Health Research Board, will direct you to your nearest Drugs and Alcohol or Family support programme:

HSE funded community addiction services


Thomas McCarthy, Co-ordinator, Drug & Alcohol Programme

Email: thomas.mccarthy@pavee.ie

John Paul Collins, Community Development Worker

Email: Johnpaul.collins@pavee.ie

Tel:  01 8780255 extension 128

Coolmine Traveller Substance Misuse Outreach Project

Tel: 01 699 1077

Email: travellersupport@coolminetc.ie