Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (310)

Dessie Ellis


310. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Health the cost in total and for each year of the implementation of Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery 2017-2025 strategy addressing the harm caused by substance misuse in society over the next eight years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24893/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The national drug strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery, is the whole-of-government response to drug and alcohol use for the period 2017 to 2025.

The most recent figure on Irish Government drug related expenditure is €240.195 million (2017). The Department of Health allocates funding of almost €100 million to the HSE for addiction services. In addition, the Department provides a further €28 million to Drug and Alcohol Task Forces through various channels of funding including the HSE.

Each Department is responsible for the funding of their actions in the strategy and this is addressed as part of the estimates process each year.

An additional €6.5 million was provided in 2018 for drug-related actions. This additional funding was used to expand the availability of drug and alcohol treatment services.

An additional €1 million was secured for 2019 to develop an integrated mental health and addiction programme for co-occuring mental health and substance misuse concerns among at-risk groups (rising to over €2 million on an annual basis).

In March, I announced a further €1 million for the implementation of Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery . This funding, which will be provided on a recurring, multi-annual basis, will address the priorities set down in the strategy including responses to emerging trends in substance misuse, and improving services for groups with complex needs.

It is important that resources are directed towards interventions and services which are most likely to lead to a reduction in problem substance use. Measuring the overall effectiveness of drug and alcohol actions is a key component of public policy.

As in previous years, I will engage with the 2020 estimates process in the Dept of Health to secure additional resources to implement the key actions in national drugs strategy.