Public consultation on new National Drugs Strategy

Launching a public consultation to inform the development of a new national drugs strategy. Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne, TD, today called on service users, parents, families, young people, organisations and all members of society across the country to provide their views on the current drugs situation in Ireland. The Minister acknowledged that drugs are unfortunately a fact of life here in Ireland and underlined the importance of hearing everyone’s views on the issue.

The new drugs strategy will set out Government policy from 2017 onwards in the areas of drug awareness and prevention, treatment of substance misuse and addiction, promoting rehabilitation and reducing the supply of illicit drugs.

The Department of Health is keen to hear about the issues people think are important to be considered in the new drugs strategy. All views received will be collated in a report, which will be provided to the National Drugs Strategy Steering Committee to help inform the new policy.

Announcing the consultation plans, Minister Byrne said: “The development of the new National Drugs Strategy is essential to ensure that we have an up-to-date and effective response to the drug problem facing our society. We are planning for a future where Ireland is a better place in terms of drug prevention, where people can make informed decisions through education and the right services and support are provided to those who need them most.

Now is the chance to have your say and inform Government policy on this key issue”. Speaking at the launch, John Carr, independent chair of the National Drugs Strategy Steering Committee said: “The drug problem affects people from all walks of life and all social backgrounds in every part of the country. The consultation process will give people an opportunity to voice their concerns, and events are being organised in Carrick on Shannon, Limerick, Cork and Dublin in order to get a nationwide perspective on the drug problem”.

Concluding her remarks, the Minister said: “Too often we don’t see drugs as relevant to our own lives if we have not been directly affected by drug misuse, but each one of us has a view and is directly or indirectly impacted by drugs and so we must all, therefore, be part of the solution.”

Notes for Editors: Government policy on tackling the drug problem is set out in the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016. The overall objective of the Strategy is to continue to tackle the harm caused to individuals and society by the misuse of drugs through a concerted focus on the five pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research.

A Steering Committee, chaired by former General Secretary of the INTO John Carr and with representatives from the Statutory, Community and Voluntary Sectors, has been established to advise on the development of a new National Drugs Strategy, which will cover the period from 2017 onwards.

Public Consultation Public consultation will take place over a six week period, commencing on Tuesday 6th September to Tuesday 18th October 2016. During this time, the Department is seeking the views of the public on the drugs situation in Ireland.

People can provide their feedback in one of the following ways:

Online: National Drugs Strategy Consultation Email: yourviews@drugsstrategy.ie

Write: Public Consultation Questionnaire or to National Drugs Strategy, PO Box 12778, Glenageary, Co Dublin Phone:

Lo-Call 1890 10 00 53 All feedback received will be collated in a report, which will be considered by the National Drugs Strategy Steering Committee to inform the development of the new Strategy to be published in early 2017.

A series of public consultation meetings on the new Strategy will take place in Carrick-on-Shannon, Limerick, Cork and Dublin. To register your interest in attending these events, please email yourviews@drugsstrategy.ie. The closing date for receipt of submissions and views is Tuesday, 18th October 2016 at 5pm. Further information on the Public Consultation #DrugsStrategy

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