Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 27 & 28 - National Drugs Strategy [14065/10]

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 27 & 28 - National Drugs Strategy [14065/10]. (01 Apr 2010)

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27 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the number of meetings that the steering group, established to develop proposals on the national substance misuse strategy have had; the make up of this group; the number of submissions received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14267/10]

28. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his views on whether the prevention pillar of the national drugs strategy cannot be properly implemented as a result of policy choices by the Department of Education and Science in view of his Department’s responsibility for the national drugs strategy. 

Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey): At the outset, I want to confirm to the Deputy that the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 will continue to be implemented across all of its five pillars, in line with the Government’s commitment to addressing the drugs problem in Ireland.
The objectives of the prevention pillar focus on the need to foster greater understanding of the dangers of problem drug and alcohol use across the general population. The promotion of healthier lifestyle choices to the wider society is a key part of this, along with targeting interventions to those at particular risk of problem substance use in our communities.
The progress being made by the various statutory, community and voluntary agencies responsible for implementing the 17 actions under the prevention pillar is being monitored on an on-going basis. While good progress is being made in many areas, it has to be acknowledged that some initiatives are more long-term in nature and will be progressed over the lifetime of the Strategy. The Department of Education & Science is fully involved in this process and, indeed, is represented on the Drugs Advisory Group through the assignment of an official of that Department on a half-time basis to the Office of the Minister for Drugs.
That Department is also centrally involved on the Oversight Forum on Drugs. As Chair of that Forum, I intend to build on the work of my colleague, Minister John Curran, T.D., in monitoring progress at a high level and in addressing any difficulties and blockages that may arise.
In line with the provisions of the National Drugs Strategy, I intend to hold a further series of bilateral meetings with various Ministers and officials over the coming months and I anticipate that a high-level meeting with the Department of Education and Science will be included in that schedule.
I look forward to the continued co-operation of the Department of Education & Science in the implementation of the Drugs Strategy and I have no doubt that this will be forthcoming.
Vol. 706 No. 2
Written Answers – National Drug Strategy
Thursday, 1 April 2010

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