Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 25 - Drug treatment programmes policy [7924/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 25 - Drug treatment programmes policy [7924/15]. (25 Feb 2015)

25. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if he is satisfied that enough credence, support, resources and funding are provided to the recovery model, as is provided to the harm reduction model, for those in addiction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7924/15]


Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): A core objective of the National Drugs Strategy is the development of a national integrated treatment and rehabilitation service that provides drug free and harm reduction approaches for problem substance users. Harm reduction interventions, such as needle exchange services and methadone maintenance treatment, are an important component of the response to problem substance use as such interventions encourage problem substance users to engage with, and avail of, drug treatment services.


The importance of promoting the recovery of people in treatment is recognised in the National Drugs Strategy. Problem drug users have complex needs and may require multiple interventions from a range of agencies to assist them in their recovery. The National Drugs Rehabilitation Implementation Committee, chaired by the HSE, is overseeing the roll out of a National Drugs Rehabilitation Framework. The aim of the Framework is to provide a 'continuum of care' for the recovering drug user through promoting a more integrated and client-centred approach to rehabilitation, based on shared care planning. The roll out of the Framework is currently being advanced through the HSE's Addiction Services and the Drug and Alcohol Task Forces.


My Department is commencing work on the development of a new National Drugs Strategy for the period after 2016. The process will involve a comprehensive consultation with key stakeholders and the public on the current national drugs policy and future priorities. This will provide an opportunity to ensure that our strategic approach into the future continues to be firmly focused on recovery. I have also asked my Department to examine the feasibility of utilising Social Impact Bonds as a funding model to improve both treatment and rehabilitation service outcomes. The outcome of this work will inform decisions as to the viability of this approach to maximising the social benefits which the National Drugs Strategy seeks to achieve.

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