It is just over 18 months since the Government launched the national drug strategy 'Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery - A health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017 - 2025' (RHSR). RHSR sets out the Government’s health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland up to 2025. The strategy contains a 50 point Action Plan from 2017 to 2020 and provides the scope to develop further actions between 2021 and 2025 to ensure the continued relevance of the strategy to emerging needs into the future.
My officials recently presented the progress report on the Strategy for 2018 and the planned activity for 2019 to the National Oversight Committee (NOC), which I chair.
This Committee has representatives from all relevant Government Departments, State Agencies, Drug and Alcohol Task Forces, Voluntary Organisations and community representatives. Its remit is to give leadership, direction, prioritisation and mobilisation of resources to support the implementation of the Strategy.
The progress report will be reviewed on an ongoing basis during 2019 by a standing sub-committee. Progress will be further reported through Cabinet Committee B, chaired by An Taoiseach and the associated senior officials group.
Next year will see the launch of a mid-term evaluation of the Strategy. This will allow all stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on progress on implementing the Strategy and to identify what new actions may be required for period up to 2025.