Home > Minister Byrne announces €2.28m for 12 strategic initiatives to implement the National Drugs Strategy.

[Department of Health] Minister Byrne announces €2.28m for 12 strategic initiatives to implement the National Drugs Strategy. (17 Sep 2019)

External website: https://health.gov.ie/blog/press-release/minister-...

The Minister of State with responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD, today (Tuesday) announced the allocation of an additional €2.28 million over three years for 12 strategic health initiatives to address priorities set out in the National Drugs Strategy. Each initiative will receive a total of €190,000, with funding commencing in September and lasting until June 2022.

 Making the announcement, Minister Byrne said:

“I am pleased to announce the details of this multi-annual funding which will support 12 innovative projects aimed at tackling drug and alcohol misuse around the country. These new health initiatives reflect regional priorities agreed between the HSE Community Health Organisations (CHOs) and the Drug and Alcohol Task Forces and ensure that resources are targeted at groups most in need. They will strengthen the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy, “Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery”, where the focus is firmly on early harm reduction, responding to emerging trends and patterns of substance misuse, and improving access to services for people with complex needs.

The Minister added; “I am committed to implementing an integrated public health response to substance misuse, and to supporting those people in our communities who are struggling with addiction and need intervention and support. Working in partnership with statutory, community and voluntary sectors is central to this response, and I am confident these new health initiatives will have a positive impact and make a difference to people’s lives as they journey to recovery”.

The following groups will be targeted by the strategic initiatives, across the 9 CHOs:

  • Young people affected by substance misuse (CHOs 1,3 and 4)
  • Women who use drugs and alcohol (CHOs 7 and 9)
  • Families and services users (CHOs 2, 6 and 9)
  • Homeless and others with complex needs (CHOs 4, 5, 7 and 8)

The initiatives are also aligned with the objectives in Sláintecare to coordinate service delivery at a regional level and to develop an integrated model of care based on population need.  

The 12 successful strategic initiatives were selected following a rigorous assessment involving Department of Health officials, the HSE, service users and an external agency with expertise in service reform. The performance of the initiatives will be closely monitored and evaluated over the three-year funding period to observe which interventions work and which do not. There is also a commitment to carry out research so that any issues are identified and addressed.

Following a consultation with Drug and Alcohol Task Forces and the HSE on the additional funding of €1million from Budget 2019 for implementation of the National Drugs Strategy; ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery; the Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD, approved a 3-strand funding model.

Under Strand 2, Drug and Alcohol Task Forces and the 9 HSE CHO areas were invited to submit proposals for funding in line with guiding principles.

 Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem and in initiating appropriate responses, so that there is a coordinated approach involving all sectors to the problem of substance misuse in local communities.

12 strategic initiatives from across the 9 CHOs and 24 Drug and Alcohol Task Forces have now been approved for funding; see below. The total value of these proposals is €2.28 million over three years, with an allocation of €190,000 for each initiative over the funding period.

Community Healthcare Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan & Monaghan in conjunction with North-Eastern and North-Western Task Forces: Young People’s Substance Use Support Services in Cavan & Monaghan - This proposal will enable the partners to fully deliver on key actions of the National Drug Strategy by providing a specialised effective problem drug and alcohol services for young people in disadvantaged rural communities.

Community Healthcare West in conjunction with Western Task Force: Family Support Worker for Galway City – This initiative will provide a family support worker for Galway city to create a greater awareness of the needs of families affected by substance use, increase visibility and accessibility of supports and make information readily available. In addition, this support worker will build the capacity of families, professionals and service providers, enhance service provision to families and expand the evidence base on how best to support families experiencing substance misuse.  

Mid-West Community Healthcare in conjunction with Mid-Western Task Force: Over 25s regional alcohol service - This initiative will support the roll-out of a community-based day programme for over 25s in relation to alcohol targeting; counties Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary on an outreach basis.

Cork/Kerry Community Healthcare in conjunction with Cork City and Southern Task Forces: Youth Addiction Counselling Service in KerryThis support will enable the provision of specialist youth supports to a significant, vulnerable cohort of young people in Kerry.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare in conjunction with Cork City and Southern Task Forces: Case Management Clinical Supervisor – This initiative will fund a Case Management Clinical Supervisor to enhance services across Drug and Alcohol, Homeless and Prison Services in the Cork Kerry Community Healthcare region.

South East Community Healthcare in conjunction with South-Eastern Task Force: Trauma Informed Care Initiative By building the capacity of services in the area of trauma informed practice, this initiative will enable more responsive services that understand and work with people with complex needs, promote more joined-up care pathways and service provision, and build collaborative service user participation at all levels of the task force’s work.

Community Healthcare East in conjunction with Bray & Dun Laoghaire Task Forces: Develop and support hidden harm initiatives focussing on children and young people – This initiative will intensify the provision of practice interventions for families where children have been impacted by the substance misuse of parents and/or carers. It will also contribute to the enactment of the Hidden Harm Framework across Bray and Dun Laoghaire (and potentially all the CHO region) and embed the approach within relevant services.

Community Healthcare Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow in conjunction with Ballyfermot, Canal Communities, D12 and South Inner City Task Forces: Community Alcohol Detox Project - The Community Alcohol Detox project will be established to cover Ballyfermot, Canal Communities, Dublin 12 and the South Inner City. The Community Alcohol Detox project will focus on 4 core areas: the employment of an Alcohol Liaison Worker to complete the work programme, to strengthen the interagency model of practice under the National Drug Rehabilitation Framework, to develop a best practice model for a Community Alcohol Detox project framework  for use by community drugs projects in partnership with the HSE Addiction Services, Primary Care and Community General Practitioners, and to  build the capacity of all stakeholders through training and meaningful engagement.

Community Healthcare Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow in conjunction with Tallaght & Ballyfermot Task Forces: Supporting women to access appropriate drug and alcohol treatment services - This initiative will research the needs of women impacted by substance misuse and to provide a capacity building coordinator across drug task force regions. The individual will have a central role in strengthening the local areas capacity to respond to the needs of women.

Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare in conjunction with Midlands Task Force and North-Eastern Task Force: Rehabilitation and aftercare support for users of drug and alcohol services – This support will enhance services for people who have dual diagnosis of mental health challenges and substance abuse and/or who have experience of trauma.  Training initiatives in approaches will be delivered to HSE Addiction Services, task forces, and all drug & alcohol service providers.  This training will also be open to applicants from the community, voluntary & statutory sectors working in the area of addiction and will commence in Q4 of 2019.

Dublin North City and County Community Healthcare in conjunction with Blanchardstown & Finglas/Cabra Task Forces: Ante and post-natal care partnership for women using drugs and/or alcohol – This initiative will enable the development and delivery of a pre- and post-natal health and social care initiative for women who use drugs and alcohol in a harmful manner and their babies.

Dublin North City and County Community Healthcare in conjunction with Ballymun, Blanchardstown, Dublin North East, Finglas Cabra, North Inner City & North Dublin Task Forces‘Establish a Service User participation Programme’ to optimise service users recovery and treatment This body will play a central role in providing advocacy, consultation, training and support for service providers and service user liaisons. It will provide an independent voice for service users and support to service providers. It will build their capacity to involve service users meaningfully in their own care, which will be a core aspect of the project along with embedding models of good practice.

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