Question to the Minister of State at the Department of Health:
To ask the Minister for Health the outcome and results of the review of local drugs task forces; the details of any changes to their funding which is being considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. -Jerry Buttimer
for WRITTEN ANSWER on Tuesday, 19th February 2013.
Minister of State at the Department of Health (Mr White):
On 18 December 2012, I announced details of a series of measures arising from a review of Drugs Task Forces and the structures of the National Drugs Strategy. The reforms are intended to better equip the Task Forces to respond to the current pattern of substance misuse.
The key changes include:
– The role of Drugs Task Forces to be extended to include alcohol addiction;
– A National Coordinating Committee to be established to guide the work of the Drug and Alcohol Task Forces and drive implementation of the National Drugs Strategy;
– Measures to encourage more Public Representative involvement in the work of Drug and Alcohol Task Forces and
– Review of the number and boundaries of Drugs Task Forces, mainly in Dublin.
In excess of €28m will be made available to Drugs Task Forces from the Drugs Initiative Fund in 2013 to support community based drugs initiatives. I intend to bring forward further measures to improve management, oversight and control of this expenditure. I also plan to consult with the Drugs Task Forces on my proposals in relation to boundary changes.