Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Department of Health
Drug and Alcohol Task Forces
355. To ask the Minister for Health the resource capacity being allocated to implement the alcohol action plan strategy in drugs task forces, for example, in the canal communities local drug & alcohol task force, CCLDATF. [23236/18]
Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem and in initiating appropriate responses, so that there is a coordinated approach involving all sectors to the problem of substance misuse in local communities.
I secured additional funding of €250,000 in Budget 2018 to improve the organisational effectiveness of task forces in implementing the national drugs strategy, Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery. It is intended that task forces can apply for up to €10,000 in additional funding, on a once-off basis, in 2018 under this scheme. Task forces must submit applications for this additional funding by 11 June 2018.
The Department is developing a new programme to promote community awareness of alcohol-related harm. An additional €0.25m will be made available in 2018 to fund phase 1 of the scheme, with the expectation that this will increase to €1m in 2019. It is anticipated that the scheme will commence in the last quarter of 2018.
I strongly believe that resources should be directed towards interventions that are most effective in reducing problem substance use. Measuring the effectiveness of responses to the drug problem is therefore an important objective of public policy. Towards this end, my Department will develop a performance measurement system by 2020 which will improve accountability across all sectors, including the task forces.