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[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Other questions - Departmental funding. (13 Jul 2021)

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38. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Health the details in relation to the funding and supports that will be made available for family addiction services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37742/21]


I wish to ask the Minister the details of funding and supports for family addiction services. I spoke to the Minister of State, Deputy Feighan, about the matter and he will not be shocked that I am looking for details on supports for groups such as the Family Addiction Support Network, FASN, in Dundalk. He attended the network's events previously. The FASN plays a major role in the provision of family supports and also in drug-debt intimidation reporting, which is a significant issue. The network faces closure, and it needs funding from the State. I would also like to hear about the criteria and timelines.


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Frankie Feighan): The national drug strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery, recognises the role of families affected by drug use in contributing to the planning, design and delivery of effective addiction services. In budget 2021, I secured €280,000 in additional funding to support family services. This funding will be used to develop and broaden the range of peer-led, mutual aid and family support programmes in accordance with best practice, in line with action 16 of the national drugs strategy.


The development of family support services is listed as a drug and alcohol priority in the HSE's national service plan for 2021. It is intended that the HSE will develop co-ordinated family support programmes in the following four areas this year: Dublin north inner city, Cork and Kerry, Louth and Meath, and Donegal. Each initiative will be allocated €70,000. I am pleased to report that the funding allocated for these services is currently being drawn down by the HSE in line with departmental guidelines. I am aware of the interest in the allocation of this funding in the four regions, including by the Family Addiction Support Network in Louth and Meath. I am confident that these initiatives will make a valuable contribution to supporting families with addiction issues in their local communities.


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