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Ireland. Department of Health. (2013) Department of Health annual report 2011. Dublin: Department of Health.

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Primary Care, Demand Led Schemes, Controlled Drugs and Eligibility Division:
Responsibility for the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy (2009-2016) moved from the former Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs (DCEGA) in May 2011 with an inward transfer of 16.63 WTE.

The Division’s role is to promote the development of primary care services, to secure enhanced value for money in the GMS, community drug schemes, dental and optical schemes, and to ensure implementation of legislation and policies in relation to medicine and cosmetics safety, pharmacy services, medical devices, control of illegal drugs as well as lead on the strategic development of policies relating to Eligibility.

National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016
The overall objective of the National Drugs Strategy to tackle the harm caused to individuals, families and communities by problem drug use and alcohol use in Ireland through the five pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research.

The implementation of the actions in the Strategy is being pursued across a range of Departments and agencies and solid progress is being made. Reporting on individual actions is followed up, including through reviews at meetings of the Oversight Forum on Drugs, chaired by the Minister of State Ms Roisín Shortall TD, to ensure achievement of successful outcomes and to address any blockages in implementation.

Supply reduction initiatives continued to be implemented through the work of An Garda Siochana, Revenue Custom Service and the Prison Authorities.

Prevention measures continued to be implemented particularly through the education sector and youth services, built around Social, Personal and Health Education and youth activities, primarily building self esteem among our young people and promoting healthier lifestyles.

Treatment and Rehabilitation services continued to be developed. Over 9,300 people were in receipt of methadone maintenance treatment, while over 12,500 people in total were in receipt of drug treatment services in 2011. Clients can usually access methadone provision in Dublin within one month of assessment. The major focus during 2011 was on increasing the availability of services outside Dublin with services being put in place in Limerick, Tralee, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, Wexford and Dundalk with further services planned for Drogheda and the Midlands area. Increased detox facilities also came on stream in Counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Cork and Limerick.

By the end of 2011 needle exchange services were being provided in 24 community pharmacies at various locations outside Dublin. This service will continue to be rolled out over a three year period. In
Dublin needle exchange services are provided through HSE clinics, and through voluntary sector providers, so the initiative with community pharmacists will facilitate broad national coverage.

Details of the expenditure incurred by Departments and agencies are collated by the Drugs Policy Unit on an annual basis. An annual progress report on the implementation of the 63 actions of the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 (NDS) to the end of 2011 is available [see related link below]

National Advisory Committee on Drugs
The National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) advises the Government in relation to the prevalence, prevention, treatment and consequences of drug misuse. During 2011, the NACD produced a number of reports in 2011 which are listed at Appendix 5.

Control of “legal Highs” for sale in Head Shops
On the 1st November 2011, the Government declared a range of "legal highs" to be controlled drugs for the purposes of the Misuse of Drugs Acts. These approximately 60 substances include substances found in Pure NRG, SPICE, Amplified and MindMelt, WHACK, Pink Champagne, Kratom, and Meow. This together with the 200 substances declared controlled drugs in 2010 has led to a significant reduction in the number of headshops operating in the country.

The Chief Medical Officer’s Division provides expert medical and policy advice and assistance to the Minister, Ministers of State and Department and also has responsibility for patient safety & quality, health protection & promotion, tobacco control policy, social inclusion and Bio Ethics.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
35 p.
Department of Health
Corporate Creators
Ireland. Department of Health
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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