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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 74, 83, 700 - National Drugs Strategy [14986/07, 15011/07, 15157/07].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 74, 83, 700 - National Drugs Strategy [14986/07, 15011/07, 15157/07]. (24 Apr 2007)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...


74. Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the adjustments to re-focus priorities and accelerate the roll out and implementation of the various key actions of the National Drugs Strategy that have been implemented on foot of the mid-term review. [14986/07]

83. Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the progress made to date in regard to the ten Regional Drug Task Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15011/07]

700. Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the targets and achievements reached by Regional Drugs Task Forces in 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15157/07]

 Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74, 83 and 700 together. The Report of the Steering Group on the Mid-term Review of the National Drugs Strategy was published in June 2005. The key conclusions of the Steering Group were that the aims and objectives of the Strategy were fundamentally sound and that progress was being made across the pillars. However, the Steering Group found that some adjustments were required in order to re-focus priorities and accelerate the roll out and implementation of the various key actions in the remaining period of the Strategy up to the end of 2008.

The Review found that 49 of the 100 actions had already been completed or were on-going tasks over the life of the Strategy; progress had been made on 45 other actions with more work underway to fully deliver them; and there were six actions upon which considerably more work was required. Also, the Steering Group’s recommendations resulted in 17 of the Strategy’s existing 100 actions being either amended or replaced, with a further 8 new actions being added. Since then the Government has placed great emphasis on progressing all 108 Actions now included in the National Drugs Strategy across prevention, supply reduction, treatment, rehabilitation and research. While the implementation of the Actions is very challenging, I am confident that the momentum built up around the various initiatives will see them implemented within the Strategy timescale.

The 10 Regional Drug Task Forces (RDTFs), which cover all parts of the country not services by a Local Drugs Task Force, are charged with researching, developing, implementing and monitoring a co-ordinated response to illicit drug use in their areas. All RDTFs produced strategic plans for their regions and they are now in the process of implementing specific actions identified in those plans. Considerable progress was made in 2006 when approximately €4.175m was expended by the RDTFs on around 90 projects. The projects involved range from prevention initiatives and work with youth to treatment services and out-reach work. I am happy to advise that I have doubled the amount available to the RDTFs for the roll-out of the action plans in 2007 and it is envisaged that funding will be increased on an incremental basis as required to achieve the full roll-out of the RDTF plans, currently estimated to cost €14.1m on an annual basis. Overall, significant progress was made by the RDTFs in the implementation of their strategic plans and I know that they are continuing to build on this to achieve accelerated progress and increased impact.

Vol. 636 No. 1 Written Answers

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

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