Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (143)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

143. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health the reason the drugs advisory group has not met since January; if it is to be replaced by a new structure; when this new structure will be in place and fully functioning; if he will outline the terms of reference and details of this new structure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30389/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Deputy will be aware that I announced details of a series of measures last December arising from a review of Drugs Task Forces in order to better equip them to respond to the current pattern of substance misuse. These measures included the extension of the remit of the Task Forces to include alcohol addiction and the establishment of a National Coordinating Committee for Drug and Alcohol Task Forces. This new committee will replace the Drugs Advisory Group.

As measures to address the abuse of alcohol remain under consideration by the Government, I am not yet in a position to provide clear time-scales for the establishment of the new committee. Broadly speaking, the committee will drive implementation of the strategies on substance misuse at local and regional level and will oversee, monitor and support the work of the Task Forces.