Thursday, 14 April 2011
National Substance Misuse Strategy
Frances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Children; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
I accept the points made by both Deputies on the community aspects of dealing with drug addiction, which is critical. It is not the intention of the Department of Health and Children to undermine the wonderful work being done by people at local level. It will not take a medical model approach only to the treatment of drug addiction or to tackling the scourge of drug addiction in local communities. It would be a retrograde step if that were to happen. A more comprehensive approach will be taken to tackling the drugs issue by the Department of Health and Children which will build on the work already being done in communities to which Deputy Ellis referred and from which we have learned valuable lessons. Members will agree that it is time for a review. Some of the programmes have been in place for some time and we need to review the structures. In line with the reform agenda, it is important that we review how programmes are developed, seek efficiencies and value for money.