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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 493 - National Drugs Strategy [23344/17] [Task forces].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 493 - National Drugs Strategy [23344/17] [Task forces]. (16 May 2017)

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493. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health if he has considered appointing a CEO over all the drug and alcohol task forces nationally in order to ensure a universal and common approach to policy, finance, spending, administration and other matters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23344/17]


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Government policy on tackling the drug problem is set out in the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016. The Strategy is a cross cutting area of public policy and service delivery, which requires a coordinated response to tackling the drug problem, involving the statutory, community and voluntary sectors.


As the Deputy will be aware, a Steering Committee has been established to advise me on the development of a new National Drugs Strategy from 2017 onwards. The Committee has been mandated to develop an integrated public health approach to substance misuse.


The Department is currently developing a performance measurement framework for Drug and Alcohol Task Forces, which should provide a more objective way of targeting funding allocations, having regard to the drugs situation and demographic factors in Task Force areas. This work will feed into the new Strategy and help to ensure that in future resources are directed towards communities facing a higher risk of substance misuse.


I expect the Steering Committee to submit its final report, which will include proposed new governance structures, to me shortly. It would not be appropriate for me to consider issues relating to governance and oversight of Drug and Alcohol Task forces in advance of receiving and considering the Steering Group's Report.

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