The national drugs, strategy, Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery, contains a commitment to deliver an integrated public health approach to drugs and alcohol as a key priority by promoting the use of evidence-based approaches to mobilising community action on alcohol.
My Department will develop two new schemes this year to deliver an integrated public health approach to drugs and alcohol, as set out in the National Drugs Strategy. One of the schemes 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.
It is intended that both schemes will be developed in the second half of 2019.
On 6th March 2019, I announced additional funding of €1 million for the implementation of the national drugs strategy. 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 to emerging trends in substance misuse, and improving access to services for people with complex needs.
Following consideration of the outcome of a consultation process with task forces and community healthcare organisations, I approved a three-strand funding model for this additional funding. Task forces were notified of this funding model on 17 May. A series of regional workshops took place in June outlining the details of scheme and the application process for this funding.
I am committed to implementing an integrated public health response to substance misuse, with the twin aims of reducing harm and supporting recovery. Working in partnership with task forces and Community Healthcare Organisations, I am confident that the allocation of additional resources in 2019 will make a significant contribution to achieving this objective.