The national drug strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery, recognises the role of families affected by drug use in contributing to the planning, design and delivery of effective addiction services. In budget 2021, I secured €280,000 in additional funding to support family services. This funding will be used to develop and broaden the range of peer-led, mutual aid and family support programmes in accordance with best practice, in line with action 16 of the national drugs strategy.
The development of family support services is listed as a drug and alcohol priority in the HSE's national service plan for 2021. It is intended that the HSE will develop co-ordinated family support programmes in the following four areas this year: Dublin north inner city, Cork and Kerry, Louth and Meath, and Donegal. Each initiative will be allocated €70,000. I am pleased to report that the funding allocated for these services is currently being drawn down by the HSE in line with departmental guidelines. I am aware of the interest in the allocation of this funding in the four regions, including by the Family Addiction Support Network in Louth and Meath. I am confident that these initiatives will make a valuable contribution to supporting families with addiction issues in their local communities.
I welcome the publication of the Drogheda report. Drug activities are affecting individuals and communities in Drogheda and across the north-east region, leading to ill health, premature deaths, damaged family and social relations and drug-related violence and intimidation. I am committed to improving the availability of drug and alcohol services in the north-east region of Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan. There has been an allocation of €150,000 for drug and alcohol services in Drogheda, and a further €150,000 for family support services to improve access to community-based drug and alcohol services across the region.