Thursday, 22 February 2018

Ceisteanna (205, 207)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

205. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which her Department continues to monitor substance abuse among children of various ages with a view to the determination of the extent of the problem and the way in which to address it; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9240/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

207. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which her attention has been drawn to evidence of dependency of prescription or other drugs among children and youth; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9242/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 205 and 207 together.

Although I have no function with regard to monitoring substance abuse in children, my Department provides funding to youth projects that are located in disadvantaged areas where a significant addiction problem exists or has the potential to develop. The objective is to attract "at risk" young people into activities and divert them away from the dangers of substance abuse. Youth Officers employed by the Education and Training Boards have close working relationships with youth services and they keep abreast of emerging trends, including alcohol and drug misuse and dependency.  They have regular contact with Children and Young Persons Services Committees and I am advised that they use this platform to share information on emerging trends with their statutory counterparts, particularly Tusla.

I can further inform the Deputy that my attention has not been drawn to evidence of dependency of the type he describes.

If the Deputy has any question regarding dependency on prescription or other drugs, he should address any queries he may have to the Minister for Health, Mr. Simon Harris T.D.