The GAA’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) programme, a joint initiative with the HSE, is a unique undertaking in the Irish sporting context.
Its mission is simple: To promote healthy life-choices by reducing the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.
Since its inception five years ago the programme has developed a wealth of educational materials and resources that are available to all GAA clubs across the country and beyond. Key amongst these are the ASAP manual, DVD and this website, which aims to enable clubs to best deal with drug and alcohol related issues.
The programme, through its National Coordinator, 32 County Officers and national network of club ASAP officers, aspires to educate GAA members and the wider community about the realities of alcohol and drug misuse, to promote best health practices in the area, and to provide all the support necessary should an individual develop a problem related to alcohol or substance misuse.
With the support of Croke Park, their respective provincial councils and county boards, as well as countless drug, alcohol and youth agencies around the country, the above-mentioned county and club ASAP officers have done tireless work that is not only benefitting and protecting our clubs and members, but also our communities as a whole. However, this is an area of on-going work, as countless reports and surveys show that a high percentage of Irish people continue to engage with alcohol and other substances in a manner that is detrimental to their health.
As a result, the GAA, under its Strategic Vision and Action Plan 2009-2015, has charged each club and county board with adopting a Drug and Alcohol policy. In addiction, all clubs have also been tasked with ensuring an active ASAP officer is in place by the end of 2012.