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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 205 - National drugs strategy implementation [12593/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 205 - National drugs strategy implementation [12593/15]. (25 Mar 2015)


205. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health if the Government will provide a commitment to review drug policy over the past two decades, as it moves towards reviewing and implementing the national drugs strategy from 2017 to 2022, to include a national consultation process with key players, and the form this review will take. [12593/15]


Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Government has consistently monitored the effectiveness of drugs policy over the past twenty years in order to ensure that the approach to tackling problem drug use in Ireland continues to be relevant and appropriate. As part of the process of developing a new drugs strategy in 2001, a review was undertaken in order to examine the progress and impact of the drugs policy at the time and to make recommendations for a new strategy. A Mid-term Review of the National Drugs Strategy was undertaken in 2005, which led to an increased focus on rehabilitation. This was followed by a review of the National Drugs Strategy in 2007, which informed the development of the current National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016.

Periodic reviews of progress across the five pillars of the Strategy are carried out through the Oversight Forum on Drugs, which I chair. A progress report is prepared each year and these are available on my Department's website. The 2014 report is being finalised and will be published shortly.


My Department is beginning work on the development of a new National Drugs Strategy for the period after 2016. The development of the new Strategy will involve an assessment of the extent to which the present Strategy has provided an effective policy response to the drug problem in the current context. The process will include a comprehensive consultation with key stakeholders and the public on the current national drugs policy and future priorities. It will also take account of evidence-based research, information and data sources on the extent and nature of problem drug use in Ireland. As Minister with lead responsibility for drugs policy, I intend to play an active role in the development of the new Strategy and I look forward to engaging with all interested parties in this work.

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