Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Ceisteanna (420)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

420. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health his plans to increase funding for programmes in 2020 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10343/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem in local communities. They ensure that a coordinated approach is taken across all sectors to address substance misuse based on the identified needs and priorities in their areas.

The Department of Health provide total annual funding of €28m to task forces for local initiatives to tackle drug and alcohol use and misuse, in accordance with the National Drugs Strategy.

The Department of Health provided a total of €927,813 to the North East Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force (NERDATF) in 2019, via the HSE. From this allocation, the task force funded various community drug projects in Cavan, Monaghan, Meath and Louth. These projects provide a range of valuable services to individuals and families affected by drug and alcohol use and misuse in the region.

The Department of Health is providing an additional €190,000 over a three year period for Young People’s Substance Use Support Services in Cavan & Monaghan. This initiative was prioritised by NERDATF to improve access to health services for young people whose lives are affected by problematic alcohol and substance use in the two counties.

In 2019, an additional €20,000 was provided to NERDATF, with €10,000 recurring on a permanent annual basis.

I am committed to working in partnership with NERDATF and the Midlands community healthcare organisation to implement an integrated public health response to substance misuse. I believe that resources should be directed towards interventions and strategies which are most likely to lead to a reduction in problem substance use and an improvement in public health, safety and well-being.

The provision of additional funding for drug and alcohol services is a matter for consideration in the context of the 2021 Budget.