Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Health

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Roderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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755. To ask the Minister for Health if progress been made on a mid-term review of the National Drug and Alcohol Strategy 2017-2025: Reducing Harm; Supporting Recovery - A health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland, and in particular a focus on the partnership approach and implementation structures that include Departments, relevant State agencies, drug and alcohol taskforces, voluntary and community sectors critical to the successful delivery of the strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6389/20]

Photo of Catherine ByrneCatherine Byrne (Dublin South Central, Fine Gael)
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The national drug strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery, sets out government policy on drug and alcohol use until 2025. The strategy aims to provide an integrated public health approach to drug and alcohol use, focused on reducing the harms for individuals, families and communities and promoting rehabilitation and recovery. 

The strategy contains 50 actions for delivery between 2017 to 2020. The implementation of these actions is monitored though the national oversight structures, supported by the coordinated system of monitoring, research and evaluation set out in the strategy.

The Department is preparing to carry out a mid-term review of the strategy at the end of 2020. This will provide an opportunity to reflect on progress in implementing the strategy, with scope to develop further actions between 2021 and 2025 to address emerging needs. All stakeholders will have an opportunity to contribute to this review through their participation in the oversight structures. 

I believe that the national drug strategy is a dynamic process, with the flexibility to adapt to needs that may emerge over the lifetime of the strategy. The mid-term review is an opportunity to reflect on progress and to identify new challenges. The review is timely as it will allow policy to take into account the impact of Covid-19 on people who use drugs and on drugs and alcohol services and to plan accordingly for the remaining five years of the strategy.

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