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Home > SERDATF - Challenge and change: tackling substance misuse in the south east region 2020-2023. Reducing substance misuse strategy.

South East Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force. (2020) SERDATF - Challenge and change: tackling substance misuse in the south east region 2020-2023. Reducing substance misuse strategy. Waterford: South East Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force.

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There is no easy solution to the complex problem of substance misuse: to expect that this strategy and the best intentions of all those who support it will solve the ever-changing challenge of substance misuse would be naïve. However, together we can make a difference and reduce the impact of this major issue across our social fabric.

The development of the Strategy has taken time: SERDATF agreed there was a need to have an overall ‘Direction of Travel’ that all partners could work to for the region. We gathered evidence to find what the needs were and emerging trends. Amongst these, for example, we found that older people were significantly over represented with alcohol problems in comparison to the national average; just under half of treatment cases for problem drug use reside with a parent or family member, highlighting the need for improved family support and over half of drug treatment cases were using more than one substance.

The Strategy builds on a Situational Analysis of Substance Misuse in the South East conducted by Waterford Institute of Technology in 2019 which undertook consultations with service providers, users of services, their families and friends and public consultation with the wider community. It is an organic working document and as such will be open to ongoing learning and development over the three-year period. We acknowledge the challenges in its development such as gaps in the data; the short consultation period and the constraints of extending discussions to a wider audience for a longer period. But it is a good beginning and I hope that people will work with us in empowering others to make a difference in their own lives and the communities in which they reside.


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