Thursday, 14 April 2011
National Substance Misuse Strategy
Dessie Ellis (Dublin North West, Sinn Fein)
I have not had a chance previously to wish the Minister well in her job. She referred to the National Substance Misuse Strategy 2009-16 on which the steering group is working. Much work has been done across communities with drugs task forces. I have been a member of the Finglas-Cabra Local Drug Task Force and the Ballymun Local Drug Task Force for 11 years. They have made a significant input, as have communities in terms of providing information on the ground. I am pleased the strategy will move ahead. There have been significant cutbacks to drugs taskforces. In the past three years there have been cutbacks of 8% to 10% each year. That is having a major impact on communities. I urge the Minister to ensure there will be no further cutbacks. Working class areas cannot take any more cutbacks because it is having a knock-on effect in terms of crime and other issues. I hope the Minister will take on board what I say.