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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 489 - National drugs strategy [3116/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 489 - National drugs strategy [3116/17]. (24 Jan 2017)

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489. Deputy John Curranasked the Minister for Health the progress being made regarding the development of a new national drugs and alcohol strategy; the timeframe for its publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3116/17]


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne):  Government is committed to putting a new National Drugs Strategy in place from 2017 onwards, when the current policy expires. A Steering Committee with an independent chair has been established to advise me on the new Strategy. This Committee has been mandated to develop an integrated public health approach to substance misuse, which is defined as the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illegal drugs.

The Committee has made significant progress in developing the evidence base for the new Strategy. The main features of the process to date include:

  • a high level review of the current Strategy by an international panel of experts;
  • a review of systematic evidence reviews of interventions on the drug problem;
  • a 10 year trends analysis of the drugs situation in Ireland; and
  • proposals from multi-stakeholder focus groups on measures to address gaps in the current response to the drugs problem.

In addition, a wide-ranging and comprehensive consultation process has been undertaken, which has resulted in over 2000 submissions on the matter.


 It is envisaged that the new Strategy will be based on a health-led approach to the drug problem and build on progress achieved under previous drug strategies. I understand that the Steering Committee is continuing with its deliberations and is expected to submit its final report to me by the end of March. I hope to bring my proposals to Government on the new Strategy thereafter.

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