On 06 March 2019, I announced additional funding of €1 million for the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy; "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 early harm reduction responses, emerging trends in substance misuse, and improving services for at-risk groups.
Working in partnership with statutory, community and voluntary sectors is central to this response. On 26 March, I met with the Local and Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Forces, and the HSE, to hear their views on how best to target the additional funding. The outcome of this consultation process will inform proposals, currently being developed, for the allocation of the funding. Further information on the criteria and proposed allocation of this new funding will be circulated to the Drug & Alcohol Task Forces and the HSE in due course.
This year my Department will also develop two new schemes to deliver an integrated public health approach to drugs and alcohol, as set out in the National Drugs Strategy. The first will provide targeted, appropriate and effective services for young people at risk of substance abuse, focused on disadvantaged communities. The second will support evidence-based approaches to mobilising community action on alcohol. Both schemes will have a fund of €250,000 on a multi-annual basis.