Stories of HOPE in 2011

We will call her Amy.  She is 22 years old and had been on drugs since the age of 14. She lives in this community and her father was a long term drug user who was engaged with services in this community.  He was well known to our senior project worker and he helped get him into a stabilisation day programme and access to medical care and support. He eventually died of AIDS but not before meeting up with the senior project worker and asking him to promise he would look after his daughter, who had started using drugs.

Amy engaged with our service in September 2010. She was on a cocktail of head shop drugs, drinking, and taking cocaine. She had several suicide attempts and was suffering with depression. She was under threat of her 3 year old daughter being taken into care. She was living in an inner city flat complex and felt it was an unsafe environment. She was single and felt very alone. She was engaged with a HSE social worker, and a doctor, but did not feel she was getting the help she needed.

She was made very welcome in HOPE. She was given the option of our community detox programme.  We suggested that if she was willing to do her bit and follow the plan laid out for her to become drug free, then we would do everything in our power to help her.  To this end, over the last year she has come into the project on a regular basis. The key worker assigned to her case has had a total of 46 visits with this client since September 2010. These include coming into our service on a regular basis, as well as phone contact. He has attended four case conferences with the social work team regarding keeping her child.  He met with her GP, visited her after a suicide attempt and linked in with the psychiatric services in St. James’s Hospital.  He met with social services in Rotunda Hospital and visited her there after she had her second child. He linked in with the Gateway project, as well as meeting with Amy’s granny, partner, and mother on several occasions, and staying in regular contact with them.

The following results have been achieved thus far:

  • HOPE developed a relationship with her (she phoned us when she was in labour!)
  • She slowly came down off of all substances and is now 11 months drug and alcohol free.
  • Through negotiations with social workers her child went into the care of her granny until she was drug free. This was best for all concerned.
  • We referred her and she was accepted on to Gateway (currently on maternity leave).
  • She got into a healthy relationship with a partner who has never been a drug user and is supportive and engaged with our service.
  • We helped her get financial aid for last Christmas.
  • We are working in conjunction with the Dublin City Council on her moving out of the flat complex.
  • She gave birth at the end of November to a healthy baby girl.
  • She regularly attends 12 step meetings.
  • We organised for her a number of holistic treatments at the Sanctuary
  • We referred her to Oasis counselling service where she is engaged in suicide prevention and personal counselling.

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