Home > EU National Drug Co-ordinators meet in Dublin.

Pike, Brigid (2013) EU National Drug Co-ordinators meet in Dublin. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 46, Summer 2013 , pp. 1-2.

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Speakers at the EU National Drug Co-ordinators meeting:

Front row: l to r, Dr Austin O’Carroll, general practitioner; Detective Sergeant Brian Roberts; Michael Conroy, Drug Policy Unit DOH; Minister Alex White TD; Dr Suzi Lyons, HRB; Professor Catherine Comiskey, NACDA chair.
Middle row: l to r, Ms Geraldine Hartnett, manager of family services Aislinn; Dr Denis O’Driscoll, chief pharmacist HSE Addiction Services; Ms Megan O’Leary, development worker Family Support Network; Mr Fergal Black, director of health care Irish Prison Services; Mr Tony Geoghegan, CEO Merchants Quay Ireland.
Back row: l to r, Mr Joe Doyle, national planning specialist, HSE Social Inclusion; Ms Brid Walsh, national rehabilitation co-ordinator, HSE; Mr Tony Duffin, director Ana Liffey Drug Poject; Mr Ger Twohig, project worker RADE; Mr Joe Kirby, rehabilitation co-ordinator, HSE Cork/Kerry.
 
Alex White TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health, hosted a meeting of the EU National Drug Co-ordinators in Dublin Castle on 8­–9 April 2013 as part of the Irish Presidency of the  Council of the European Union. The meeting brought together drug policy formulators from member states and EU institutions.
 
While referring to the complexities and difficulties of the drug phenomenon, which he said is truly global in nature, Minister White also spoke of the problems being experienced by individuals, families and communities on the ground. He spoke of his responsibility for the implementation of the Irish National Drugs Strategy (NDS), and the structures established to maximise the chances of the 63 actions of the NDS being implemented. He also told delegates: ‘At EU level we must address the challenge of ensuring that there is a focus on the implementation of agreed Actions, particularly through the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs, but also through robust links with other EU bodies and through meetings of the EU National Drug Co-ordinators.’ On the international level he added: ‘If we as the EU can speak with one strong voice at international fora we can really make an impact on the overall global drugs situation.’
 
The theme of the two-day meeting was ‘From Use to Recovery: Experiences and Future Approaches in Drug Policy’. Speakers from Ireland’s statutory, community and voluntary sectors addressed the meeting on  a range of topics including drug prevalence in Ireland, drug treatment provision, recovery and rehabilitation, as well as legislation to tackle drugs supply in Ireland – all with a focus on policy issues.
 
Delegates from across EU member states and the EU institutions also provided contributions and responses covering aspects of drugs policy across the EU. The meeting concluded with a presentation on the drugs situation in Croatia, with the accession of that country to EU membership due to take place in July 2013.
 
As part of the effort to ensure the relevance and timeliness of the national drug co-ordinators conference, the Irish Presidency took the innovative step of choosing recovery as the theme of the conference as it is a key policy area of the forthcoming EU Action Plan on Drugs. The Irish Presidency made a presentation on the outcomes of the conference to a subsequent meeting of the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG), highlighting four issues that featured prominently in discussions during the two-day conference:
 
-    access to treatment for marginalised groups;
-    the benefits of interagency working;
-    the need to address the holistic needs of people; and
-    the challenges and possible responses in developing drugs policy in a time of recession. 

The HDG will be encouraged to focus further on these issues and to continuously monitor and review progress on the implementation of the Action Plan when it is finalised.

Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 46, Summer 2013
Date:July 2013
Page Range:pp. 1-2
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 46, Summer 2013
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on drugs and alcohol
VA Geographic area > Europe

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