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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 33 & 43 - Substance Misuse Strategy [8409/10].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 33 & 43 - Substance Misuse Strategy [8409/10]. (18 Feb 2010)

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33. Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the position regarding the national substance misuse strategy; his views on the primary aim of this new document; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 

43. Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the progress made regarding the production of a report on the way local drugs task forces will take over the responsibility of tackling issues surrounding alcohol abuse.
Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy John Curran): I propose to take Questions Nos. 33 and 43 together.
A Steering Group, comprising representatives of the statutory, community, voluntary and industry sectors, was established last November to develop proposals and make recommendations on a National Substance Misuse Strategy. The Group is jointly chaired by officials from my Department and the Department of Health and Children. The third meeting of the Group is scheduled to take place later this week.
The primary objective of the Group is:
         to identify effective policies and actions to tackle the harm caused to individuals and society by alcohol use and misuse; and
         to make proposals on a combined policy that will incorporate the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016, which was published last year.
In this context, the Steering Group will review existing policies and reports, including at EU and international level, and will set out an evidence-based framework through which to address the issues identified. While the Group will also be looking at what are the appropriate structures and frameworks for the effective and efficient implementation of the combined Strategy, the possible level of involvement of Local and Regional Drugs Task Forces in this regard has yet to be considered.
The Steering Group is due to submit its proposals to the Minister for Health and Children and myself by the end of October 2010. The combined Strategy will then be submitted to Government for consideration.
Finally, it should be noted that my Department has received 60 submissions from a range of organisations and individuals following the placing of an advertisement in the national newspapers in December last. The submissions are currently being reviewed and the issues arising will be considered by the Steering Group as part of its ongoing deliberations.
Vol. 702 No. 4  
Written answers – Substance Misuse Strategy
Thursday, 18 February 2010

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