CAD organises regular drug education and training opportunities for a variety of community and voluntary sector workers who may work with young people and families at risk of or affected by substance misuse.
Guest speakers include highly experienced educators employed in the fields of pharmacology, substance misuse and addiction. A second, much valued, dimension to the drug education day is the sharing of personal experiences from parents and young people whose lives have been adversely affected by substance misuse and addiction. Agencies and individuals who have shared their expertise include Prof. Des Corrigan, Merchant’s Quay Ireland’s Family Association, and Coolmine Therapeutic Community’s Family Association. Agencies and professionals who shared their expertise at the Education Days include Philip James (Clinical Nurse Specialist and co-author of “Adolescents & Substance Use), Dr Briege Casey (DCU Lecturer), IASIO ( Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders), Marian Rackard (HSE Alcohol Programme), Cynthia Silva (Senior Psychologist, HSE, Early Intervention & Disabilities), Robert Dunne (Project Leader, Barnardos Lorien Child & Family Service), Siobhan Maher (National Family Support Network), Anita Harris (Coolmine Therapeutic Community), Dr. Eamonn Keenan (Trinity Court), Mary Forrest (Teen Counselling), Gary Broderick (ATI), Brian Foley (Ballymun Youth Action Project), Paul Delaney (COAIM), Niamh Banks (Counsellor SWAHB), Joe Merry (Drug Treatment Centre Board), Nicola Perry (Community Response) and Brendan Murphy (Counsellor and Trainer, HSE).
CAD Education Days are recognised by professionals across the sector as a valuable and popular service for those working in the frontline of drug and community services as well those engaged in strategy and policy development.
This event has evolved from the CAD Weekends for parents and voluntary community workers developed by CAD as a federation of community groups. Over the years, as drug issues became the focus of Government policy and increased expenditure and strategic planning measures were adopted to ensure drug services were available in communities where they were needed most, it became apparent that those taking part in these courses were new to post workers as opposed to voluntary community workers.
This change in participant group led to a shift in emphasis for the course from one that provided training in practical skills associated with forming and maintaining community groups, to one that placed more emphasis on drug information, motivating change, and local and personal experiences of drug use and its attendant issues. As the focus of the training moved to people working in the drugs field, CAD discovered fewer participants were willing to take part for a full weekend. This has led to the present day format of the course.