Submission to inform the National Drug Strategy.

Problematic drug and/or alcohol use can put people at an increased risk of homelessness, and can also be
caused and exacerbated by traumatic experiences, including homelessness. Homeless drug and alcohol users
tend to use drugs and alcohol more frequently, in increased quantities and in ways that increasingly put their
lives at risk. Risk behaviour is correlated to housing instability with those rough sleeping and in emergency
accommodation experiencing the highest levels of risk behaviour.

1 Every day, Simon Communities around
Ireland work with people impacted by problematic drug and alcohol use, dual diagnosis and complex needs.
We provide specialist health and addiction treatment services2

including; residential alcohol detoxification,
respite for clients with HIV and blood borne viruses, stabilisation, addiction recovery, aftercare, counselling,
health and well-being and an addiction in-reach Housing Action Team (HAT). We also provide harm
reduction services including a mobile health clinic, primary care nurses in housing and emergency services
and a needle and syringe programme including safer injecting advice and on-site needle exchange in
emergency accommodation and an emergency out of hours outreach backpack needle exchange service to
rough sleepers. Our services are low threshold, integrated and outcomes-focussed. We work with clients at
all stages on the continuum of addiction from working with people to reduce harm, providing treatment
services, and supporting those in recovery and aftercare in supported housing or living independently.

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