Budget allocation for National Drugs Strategy

7 Dec 2007

An extra €12.5 million has been provided for the drugs initiative bringing the total drugs funding to €64m per annum.

According to a statement on the 2008 Estimates issued by the Minister and Minister of State for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the increased funding will enable progress to be made under various measures:

Under the Young People's Facilities & Services Fund, further facilities and services will be provided for young people at risk of becoming involved with drugs. Current funding will provide staffing and running costs for capital projects in existing areas and facilitate the expansion of the Fund into further towns, mainly in Leinster.

Further progress will be made towards full implementation of the agreed work programmes of the ten Regional Drugs Task Forces (RDTFs). The additional funding will allow for the full year cost of projects now in progress, as well as the start of additional projects between now and the middle of 2008.

The additional funding will also support a range rehabilitation measures. In this way, it will facilitate the initiation of the implementation of the recommendations of the Report of the Working Group on Drugs Rehabilitation, in so far as they pertain to D/CRGA.
The measures to be introduced will help to enable people to regain the capacity for daily life which will benefit not only the drug users themselves, but also their families and wider communities. The funding will be used to address gaps in current rehabilitation provision in Task Force areas and will enable the provision of parenting training/family therapy/childcare services focussed on problem drug users. The allocation will also allow for the development of family respite support (to be piloted initially) and address training needs in the community & voluntary sector around rehabilitation.

The 2008 drugs allocation will also provide for the continued implementation of the recommendations of the cocaine report, prepared jointly by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and the National Drugs Strategy Team.