Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Health

Addiction Treatment Services

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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329. To ask the Minister for Health the steps his Department is taking to address increased drug and alcohol misuse among young persons in an area (details supplied) particularly in the home; if additional supports and funding will be provided to community and youth services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17786/21]

Photo of Frank FeighanFrank Feighan (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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The Department of Children administers the UBU Your Place Your Spacescheme. This is a targeted youth funding scheme which provides out-of-school supports to marginalised, disadvantaged or vulnerable young people between the age of 10 and 24, with a particular focus on use of drugs. The scheme consolidates a number of previous funding schemes and the initial application process was open only to services that had been funded under those schemes. It became operational on 1 July 2020 under its policy and operating rules. The UBU Your Place Your Spacescheme funding for 2021 is €41.79 million.

The Department of Children has advised that a total fund of €1 million has been allocated for the establishment of up to 8 new UBU Your Place Your Space services in 2021. Full year funding for each of these new services is to be a maximum of €120,000 per service. Youth services in the area should engage with the City of Dublin Youth Services Board to identifying local needs .

The Department of Health and the HSE support drug and alcohol task forces to assess the extent and nature of the drug problem and to initiate appropriate responses, so that there is a coordinated approach involving all sectors to the problem of substance misuse in local communities.

The 2021 overall funding allocation from the Department and the HSE for the task force in the area referred to is €901,237. Of this, the Department €263,277 for four projects, three of which target children/young people at risk and their families.

In 2019, additional funding was allocated for 14 strategic initiatives to address priorities set out in the National Drugs Strategy. Each initiative will receive funding of €190,000 over 36 months until mid-2022. Two initiatives are funded in CHO 9: Ante and post-natal care partnership for women using drugs and/or alcohol and Service User participation Programme to optimise service users recovery and treatment.

Budget 2021 allocated an additional €1m for targeted drug and alcohol initiatives through the network of drug and alcohol task forces. The allocation of this additional funding will be informed by the priorities arising from the mid-term review of the national drugs strategy, which my Department is undertaking in conjunction with stakeholders.

I believe that the impact of problem drug and alcohol use is a national issue, affecting people from all walks of life. In line with Sláintecare, I am committed to a population-based approach to allocating resources for drug and alcohol services. This will ensure funding is allocated on an equitable and rational basis in accordance with health and social needs.


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