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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 128 - National Drugs Strategy [18151/06].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 128 - National Drugs Strategy [18151/06]. (16 May 2006)

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128. Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he intends to advocate for an increase in the range and type of drug treatment programmes and places available to drug misusers under the National Drugs Strategy. [18151/06]

Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): Under the Health Act, 2004, the management and delivery of health and personal social services is the responsibility of the Health Services Executive. My Department has overall responsibility for the co-ordination of the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy 2001-2008. The Mid-Term Review of the National Drugs Strategy calls on the HSE to continue to prioritise increasing the availability and range of treatment options in the context of increased poly-drug use. The Strategy also set a target of a minimum number of opiate-related treatment places of 6,500 by the end of 2002. This target has been surpassed with end February 2006 figures standing at 7,992 treatment places. Currently my Department is chairing a Working Group on Rehabilitation, on which the HSE and the Department of Health & Children are represented, and the adequacy of treatment options is likely to be a consideration at that forum. Furthermore, I am informed that a HSE-led Expert Advisory Group on Residential Treatment is in the process of being established. I am aware that the nature of drug use is constantly evolving and that new trends will continue to emerge and I appreciate the importance of developing services to meet the diverse range of problem drugs use.

Vol. 619 No. 4
Written Answers
Tuesday, 16 May 2006

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