Additional Funding Announced for Drugs Task Forces

Today I welcomed the inclusion of a substance misuse measure in the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2014. The Dormant Accounts Action Plan was recently adopted by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.

The National Substance Misuse Strategy incorporates an integrated approach to substance misuse bringing together alcohol use and misuse and the misuse of other substances. In line with the Strategy, funding will be provided from the Dormant Accounts Fund towards programmes and projects supporting a range of prevention and awareness raising initiatives designed to tackle drug and alcohol misuse among the general population.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces have been identified as the appropriate structures through which the measure will be implemented.The specific objectives of the substance misuse measure are to develop a greater understanding of the dangers of problem drug and alcohol use among the general population to promote healthier lifestyle choices among young people and other vulnerable groups at risk of problem drug use to promote healthier lifestyle choices throughout society in relation to alcohol by influencing and raising awareness among the general population.

This funding will support an integrated and evidence-based approach to prevention and education interventions aimed at tackling problem drug and alcohol misuse at the local level. I believe that Task Forces are well placed to deploy the funding available to best effect, as they have local knowledge and a track record of engaging local communities around substance misuse issues.

Funding of €50,000 will be available to each Task Force equating to a total of €1.2 million for 2015.