Skip Page Header

Home > Dáil Éireann debate - Financial resolution No. 2: General (resumed).

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate - Financial resolution No. 2: General (resumed). (13 Oct 2021)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...


Deputy Frankie Feighan: Some €6 million is being provided under the national drugs strategy and this funding will increase access to drugs and alcohol services, expand the Housing First programme and enhance health services for vulnerable children and young people.

 

On the national drug strategy, I am delighted to announce that I have secured €6 million for new measures to support the implementation of the national drug strategy. These new measures will meet the various commitments for a health-led approach to drug use. I am allocating €1.7 million for measures to increase the availability of the HSE drug and alcohol services on a nationwide basis. This will include services for people with addiction, people under 18 years and families affected by drug use and will also include rehabilitation and recovery programmes.

 

We know there can be barriers in accessing drug and alcohol addiction services for women and minority groups and in this respect I have prioritised greater access to and provision of community-based drug and alcohol services for women, ethnic minorities and LGBTI+ groups. Additional services will also be provided for children and families who are impacted by parental drug and alcohol use, supporting the implementation of the HSE and Tusla Hidden Harm Strategic Statement and practice guidelines.

 

I am also expanding harm reduction responses in local communities and the night-time economy in order to address high-risk drug use such as crack cocaine and other stimulant drugs. The Government is committed to a health-led approach to individuals found in possession of drugs for personal use and we support compassion not punishment. Funding will be provided for screening and brief interventions for people referred to the health diversion programme across all community healthcare organisations, CHOs.

 

It is important that we provide health services which meet the needs of people who are homeless and many of whom are also high-risk drug users. Some €1.3 million will be provided to support this programme. In addition, I am pleased to provide €10 million in Covid-19 funding for 2022 to maintain public health measures and I will announce details of this funding later on.

Finally, I am providing €500,000 to support health services for primary school children and young people in Dublin’s north-east inner city and this will benefit 1,800 primary school children.

 

I also acknowledge an additional €500,000 has been provided to deliver a gambling regulator. We have been hearing about the need for a gambling regulator for well over 20 years. We will deliver this over the next six months with total funding of €700,000. Again, there is not one penny in the alternative Sinn Féin budget to provide for a gambling regulator to help tackle the scourge of gambling.

[Full debate here]

Repository Staff Only: item control page