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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 575 - Local Drugs Task Forces [12457/18].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 575 - Local Drugs Task Forces [12457/18]. (20 Mar 2018)

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575. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the way in which he expects local drug task forces to meet the commitment made in the Programme for Partnership Government to extend the services of local and regional drug and alcohol task forces if funding to local drug task forces remains at 2014 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12457/18]


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem in their areas and in coordinating action at local level, so that there is a targeted response to the problem of substance misuse in local communities. Every effort has been made to protect the budgets of Drug and Alcohol Task Forces in recent years.  In excess of €27.6m has been allocated to Task Forces by the HSE and the Department of Health for community-based drugs initiatives this year. This level of funding is consistent with the amounts provided in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. 


In recognition of the key role Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play in providing a targeted response to the drug problem in local communities, I will shortly be announcing details of new funding initiatives to strengthen the capacity of Task Forces to support the implementation of Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery during 2018.

In addition the Department of Health is developing a new programme to promote community awareness of alcohol related harm.  An additional €0.25m is being made available by the Department in 2018 to fund Phase 1 of the scheme.  It is anticipated that the scheme will commence in the last quarter of 2018 and will be developed over the coming months in association with the Health and Wellbeing Unit in the Department.

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