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Substance Misuse

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 3 November 2020

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Questions (1336)

Róisín Shortall


1336. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health when the emergency funding to offset the costs of delivering drug and alcohol services in the context of Covid-19, which was announced during the Dáil Éireann debate on the National Drugs Strategy on 10 September 2020 will be made available to drug and alcohol task force and to community drug projects; the level of emergency funding being made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33212/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a time of uncertainty and anxiety for everyone and particularly for those who are affected by drug and alcohol addiction. The restructuring of services, social distancing measures and self-isolation can be particularly difficult for those who are trying to remain drug or alcohol free and for those who are in recovery.

The Government plan for living with Covid-19 details how non-Covid health and social care services will be resumed, especially during the challenging winter months. This includes planning for the safe resumption of drug and alcohol services, including community-based services, residential programmes and recovery support groups.

The Department has set up a working group with drug and alcohol service providers to develop a 'Framework for the Restoration of Drug and Alcohol Services', in a planned and appropriate manner in line with public health advice. The working group has identified issues on which guidance and supports are required.

I met with representatives of drug and alcohol task forces to discuss continued support for their work in identifying and responding to local needs. I confirmed my approval of additional funding to support the resumption of drug and alcohol services including the adaptation of services, premises, online meetings and personal protective equipment.

I will be announcing the details of this additional funding shortly.