Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 691 - Drug rehabilitation clinics [9420/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 691 - Drug rehabilitation clinics [9420/14]. (25 Feb 2014)

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 691. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Health his views on the current addiction services provided by the Health Service Executive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9420/14]  

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): The National Drugs Strategy sets out drugs policy in Ireland for the period up to 2016. Drugs policy encompasses five pillars - supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research and clear actions are in place for implementation. I am satisfied that good progress is being made across the actions of the Strategy, with the involvement of the statutory, voluntary and community sectors, and that emerging issues and threats around problem drug use are being addressed in a timely and effective manner.

In the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy particular focus is being placed on Programme for Government commitments in areas such as treatment and rehabilitation. Periodic reviews of progress across the pillars of the Strategy are carried out through the Oversight Forum on Drugs (OFD) which I chair and these are posted on my Department's website. Considerable success has been achieved with an increased number of people in the opiate substitution programme, a reduction in waiting times for access to services particularly outside the Dublin area, increased availability of places in rehabilitation programmes as well as the continued expansion of the pharmacy needle exchange programme. This work is being complemented by greater focus on integrated care plans for individuals and more co-ordinated inter-agency working with the national roll out of the National Drugs Rehabilitation Framework planned following the successful piloting of the initiative.
In relation to alcohol the Government recently approved an extensive package of measures to be incorporated in a Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which are based on the recommendations contained in the Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy 2012. The HSE has responsibility for implementing a number of recommendations and this is reflected in the HSE Service Plan for 2014.

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