Home > Minister Feighan welcomes report on drug treatment services and highlights new initiatives for people who use cocaine and crack cocaine.

[Department of Health] Minister Feighan welcomes report on drug treatment services and highlights new initiatives for people who use cocaine and crack cocaine. (14 Jun 2022)

External website: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/309e2-minister...

  • 70% of People Now Treated in Outpatient Facilities
  • Increase of 410 New People Receiving Treatment since 2020
  • Community Healthcare Organisations Tackling Health-Related Harms of Cocaine


The Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan TD, welcomes the publication of the HRB report on drug treatment services. The report demonstrates the continuing demand for health services to address the harmful effects of drug use, the types of drugs that are most impactful on people who require treatment, and the social factors associated with problematic drug use.


The report shows that 4,206 new people were receiving treatment for drug use in 2021, an increase of 410 since 2020, and 227 more than in 2019.


Noting the considerable work done to provide these services, Minister Feighan said:

"The increased provision of treatment services reflects the government’s commitment to a public health response to drug use and the allocation of additional resources to services in 2021. I want to commend the resilience of drug services during the Covid-19 pandemic and their ability to expand services to meet demand following the lifting of public health restrictions."


Minister Feighan also noted the increase in people receiving treatment in the community, with 70% now being treated in outpatient facilities.


He said:

"The provision of healthcare services in the community is a key tenet of the Sláintecare approach. I’m committed to expanding the provision of community-based services in conjunction with drug and alcohol task forces and the HSE. The Community Services Enhancement Fund provides funding of €2m with a particular focus on women, ethnic minorities and the LGBTI+ community."


Minister Feighan also expressed concern about the increase in the demand for services among people who use cocaine and crack cocaine.


The Minister added:

"Strengthening early harm reduction responses to drug use, including cocaine and crack cocaine, is a strategic priority in the National Drugs Strategy. I welcome the HSE led initiative to reduce the health-related harms from cocaine and crack cocaine in four Community Healthcare Organisations, including Dublin, Cork, and Kerry. This initiative includes specific training for staff as well as supports which will help to empower communities to tackle this issue."


Minister Feighan also noted that 40% of people treated for drug use were parents and guardians of children aged 17 years or younger.


Minister Feighan concluded:

"I am concerned about the impact on children and families of parental drug use. We need to provide services for children and families to help them cope with the effects of parental drug use and to support the implementation of the HSE-Tusla good practice guide on hidden harm.


"I would urge anyone with concerns regarding their own drug and alcohol use, or that of a family member or friend, to seek support from your GP, local services or contact the drug and alcohol helpline on 1800 459 459. The helpline provides support, information and guidance for any person who is concerned about their own drug or alcohol use, or that of a family member or friend."

Repository Staff Only: item control page