Home > 637. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the section and Department that will be responsible for the national drugs strategy under the new configuration of his Department. [14837/10]

[Oireachtas] 637. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the section and Department that will be responsible for the national drugs strategy under the new configuration of his Department. [14837/10]. (20 Apr 2010)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/04/20/00430...


National drugs strategy

637. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the section and Department that will be responsible for the national drugs strategy under the new configuration of his Department; his plans for the office of the Minister of State who had responsibility for drugs policy; the way the national drugs strategy will be implemented in the absence of a Minister with sole responsibility for this strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
 
644. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 308, 309 and 310 of 30 March 2010, if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it is the first time since the first report of the ministerial task force on measures to reduce the demand for drugs, 1996, that drugs is not named as a primary ministerial area of responsibility and is not formally acknowledged or referred to by the relevant Minister in response to structural arrangements within the Department; if he will clarify where the national drugs strategy features in the Department; his plans for the Office of the Minister for Drugs and the way in which the national drugs strategy will be implemented without a Minister having sole responsibility for the strategy.
 
 645. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 308, 309 and 310 of 30 March 2010, if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it is the first time since the first report of the ministerial task force on measures to reduce the demand for drugs, 1996, that drugs is not named as a primary ministerial area of responsibility and is not formally acknowledged or referred to by the relevant Minister in response to structural arrangements within the Department; if he will clarify where the national drugs strategy features in the Department; his plans for the Office of the Minister for Drugs and the way in which the national drugs strategy will be implemented without a Minister having sole responsibility for the strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
 
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey):  I propose to take Questions Nos. 637, 644 and 645 together.
 
I want to confirm to the Deputies that the Office of the Minister for Drugs (OMD) remains very much in operation with a clear focus on dealing with the issue of problem drug use in Ireland. Furthermore, I can confirm that responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy will rest with me, as Minister.
 
The Government remains fully committed to addressing the drugs problem and I believe that my appointment as a Minister — with direct responsibility in this area — will facilitate the implementation of the Strategy in a timely and co-ordinated fashion. Indeed, there have been many people calling for some time for the Minister with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy to be a member of the Government, with a seat at Cabinet.
 
During my previous period as Minister for State with responsibility for this area, significant steps forward were made in the drugs area. From my experience on the ground at that time, I am very familiar with the ongoing issues in terms of the drugs problem in communities and the initiatives being taken to address them.
 
I acknowledge the excellent work done by my colleague, Mr John Curran, T.D., while he was Minister of State, in driving the finalisation of the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016, the implementation of which is being pursued vigorously across a range of Departments and agencies.
 
I fully intend to build on this work and to implement a continuous assessment approach to progress on the 63 Actions in the Strategy to ensure that we achieve successful outcomes. Furthermore, I believe that the structures now in place under the Strategy will better facilitate me to effectively fulfil that role.
 
I can assure the Deputies of my commitment to press ahead with the ongoing implementation of the Drugs Strategy and also to support the timely finalisation and subsequent implementation of the Substance Misuse Strategy, incorporating both alcohol and drugs.
 
Vol. 706 No. 3  
Written Answers – National Drugs Strategy
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:20 April 2010
EndNote:View
Subjects:VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Government agency
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Programme planning, implementation, and evaluation > Programme planning (strategy)
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on substance use

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