Community Awareness of Drugs was formed to respond to drug issues across Dublin in the 1980s. Through local community action the National Federation of Community Action on Drugs (NFCAD) was formed in 1983 as a federation of organized community group that trained ad supported communities and families. Local NFCAD groups began to gather information on drugs and the signs and symptoms of their use to share during their community training. The formation of local groups occurred across Dublin yet the problems associated with drug use and the solutions individual groups devised to deal with these problems were particular to each community.
During the 1980s early work consisted of providing drug awareness training in communities, as well as undertake direct action by calling to the houses of individuals with know drug-related problems and offering support. A handbook was prepared by NFCAD to help affiliated groups develop a drug prevention strategy for their community. Weekend courses were organized to provide parents and community workers with information on drugs, training in public speaking and presentation skills to educate other parents and community members. By the late 1980s there was a considerable drop off in the number of groups affiliated with the group, although the drug problem had not gone away.
In 1993 Community Awareness of Drug opened its door as a registered charitable organization. Bernie McDonnell was appointed the Co-ordinator of CAD (now Director of Services). At this time CAD developed Family Focus, a multi-session training programme from the perspective of primary prevention – to prevent the onset of drug and alcohol related problems.
Since its formation Community Awareness of Drugs has continued to grow and its research and workshops provide parents and community workers with support and information on drug and alcohol misuse. Dr. Des Corrigan, Government and EU Drug Advisor continues to play an invaluable role as a mentor to CAD and participates in our Education Day workshops three times annually. In addition to our training and services, CAD has launched the Family Focus Tutor Training project; a pilot programme is currently underway in collaboration with the North East Regional Drug Task Force (Cavan Monaghan, Louth Meath).test