Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem and in initiating appropriate responses, so that there is a coordinated approach involving all sectors to the problem of substance misuse in local communities.
Over €27.85m has been allocated to Task Forces by the HSE and the Department of Health for community-based drugs initiatives this year. This included an additional €540,000 in one off funding to the Task Forces to support implementation of the national drugs strategy. In addition, Task Forces are being consulted by the HSE on the provision of €710,000 in one off funding for priority projects and services in CHO areas.
Implementing the health-led national drugs strategy continues to be a Government priority. Within the increased envelope of resources available in Budget 2019 for health services, my intention is to prioritise funding for community drug and alcohol projects in Task Force areas of greatest need, additional drug and alcohol midwives working with vulnerable mothers-to-be and enhanced treatment services to address existing and emerging needs.
It is intended that all Local and Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Forces will be notified of their 2019 funding allocations by the Department and the HSE as soon as the HSE National Service Plan for 2019 has been approved by the Minister for Health.