Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 234 – Health services [crack cocaine] [25282/23].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 234 – Health services [crack cocaine] [25282/23]. (24 May 2023)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2023...

  1. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health the amount of funding allocated to addressing crack cocaine use to date in 2023. [25282/23]


Minister of State at the Department of Health Hildegarde Naughton: Over €130 million a year is allocated to the HSE for the provision of drug services. There is annual funding of €29m to drug and alcohol task forces for community-based services.


Developing harm reduction responses and integrated care pathways for high-risk drug users including responses to the use of cocaine and ‘crack’ cocaine is a strategic priority for the National Drugs Strategy for the period 2021-2025. This initiative will also contribute to a whole of government response to the social determinants and consequences of drug use in disadvantaged communities.


In 2022, the Department allocated €850,000 in recurring funding for a HSE-led initiative to reduce the health-related harms associated with the use of cocaine and ‘crack’ cocaine, with funding of €200,000 per annum allocated to CHO 3, CHO 4, CHO 7 and CHO 9.


The funding supports models of best practice in cocaine treatment, including the development of training programmes for addiction service staff nationally, and the establishment of targeted interventions in disadvantaged communities worst affected by cocaine and ‘crack’ cocaine.


The four pilot initiatives are now operational (in Midwest Community Healthcare [CHO3], Cork Kerry Community Healthcare [CHO4], Community Healthcare Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow [CHO7] and Community Healthcare Organisation Dublin North City and County [CHO9]).


In addition, €2m was allocated under the community services enhancement fund for community-based drug services in 2022. The fund formed part of the strategic priority to enhance access to and delivery of drug and alcohol services in the community in the national drugs strategy 2021-2025. Between €200,000 and €240,000 per annum was allocated to the nine community healthcare organisations (CHOs), who then commissioned community-based drug and alcohol services based on an assessment of population needs, in conjunction with drug and alcohol tsk forces.


An example of a project funded under the CSEF which is specifically focused on crack cocaine is the Law Engagement & Assisted Recovery (LEAR) programme, operated by Ana Liffey Drug Project in Limerick city and funded by Midwest CHO. This programme was developed following research carried out by University of Limerick on the experience and health needs of crack cocaine users in the region.


As Minister, I am committed to supporting both HSE and community-led initiatives to tackle cocaine and crack cocaine, in line with the strategic priorities for the national drugs strategy 2022-2025.

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