Cork City Council hosts European Cities Against Drugs (ECAD)Conference

ECAD Conference brochure image

The 26th European Cities Against Drugs (ECAD) Mayors' Conference on ‘Pathways to Recovery’ will take place on Thursday and Friday, 13-14 June in the Imperial Hotel, Cork City.  Lord Mayor, Cllr. John Sheehan will welcome experts in the field of addiction and recovery services who will gather in Cork to discuss recovery and addiction.

The Lord Mayor, a general practitioner, said: “We are delighted to welcome this conference to Cork which is examining how local authorities and other state agencies can facilitate recovery among their citizens and how local authorities and how they can help citizens sustain a long term recovery”.

Day 2 of the conference will feature a key note address by Minister Catherine Byrne, Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy.

Speaking in advance of the conference, Minister Byrne said: “I am delighted that Cork is hosting the ECAD Mayors Conference this year, giving us a fantastic opportunity to discuss the work underway across Europe and here in Ireland on harm reduction and supporting people in addiction on their journey of recovery. This conference brings us together to share knowledge and best practice from across Europe which will be very valuable in developing future policy. 

The theme of the conference, ‘Pathways to Recovery’ is very much in line with our National Drugs' Strategy; 'Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery'. As we continue our work in implementing the actions set out in our strategy, taking a public health approach to addiction, it is important that we work closely with both our local and European partners to improve the lives of those at risk from substance misuse in our communities.” 

Professor of Population Health at Trinity College Dublin, Joe Barry will present on the formation of the Recovery Academy of Ireland. Professor of Criminology at Sheffield University, David Best will discuss the concept of Inclusive Cities and how to promote recovery in a city. Pauline McKeown CEO of Coolmine Recovery Services will close the keynote sessions by discussing what individuals and their families need to support recovery.

Professor Barry says that up to now, recovery has “been severely under-resourced in Ireland”. He detects a change in attitude however.

“Momentum is building to put recovery higher up the political agenda. The Recovery Academy of Ireland aims to develop an alliance of service users, professionals, allies and families – reaching out to members in all parts of Ireland,” he said.

Pauline McKeown, Chief Executive of Coolmine Therapeutic Community says: “Drug and alcohol support services need to meet the complex presenting needs of individuals and their families seeking treatment. Community supports and social integration are the positive reinforcers- this is what works in addition treatment. Individualised treatment and effective case management is critical “ she said. 

Delegates will be visiting the following sites on day 2 of the conference: · Cork Simon Community, (Gateway Project)
· Fellowship House, Tabor Group (Residential & Step Down Service) Site visit with a brief overview of Trauma Informed Care, ‘It’s no wonder’, by Dr AnnaMarie Naughton)
· Walking Tour of Cork (Frank Horgan & St Peter’s Vision Centre Staff Tour Guide).