Press Release

Minister Catherine Byrne announces additional funding of €3m in Budget 2017 for drugs and social inclusion measures

Catherine Byrne TD, Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy, has announced the allocation of an additional €3m in Budget 2017 to support drugs and social inclusion measures.

The extra funding announced will enable the HSE to continue providing interventions aimed at improving the health outcomes of the most vulnerable in our society, including Traveller and Roma communities, those affected by addiction issues, those experiencing homelessness and asylum seekers and refugees.

The additional funding will also be used to support the establishment of a pilot supervised injecting facility in Dublin city centre during 2017. Legislation is being drafted by the Department of Health to allow for the establishment and licensing of supervised injecting facilities. Drafting is at advanced stage and it is intended to publish the Bill during the current Dáil session.

Minister Byrne said “The establishment of a supervised injecting facility is high on my agenda. This facility is badly needed to address the problem with street injecting in Ireland, which particularly affects Dublin city centre.”

“The difficulties experienced by under 18s in getting access to drug and alcohol treatment and the limited options available for detoxing from drugs were among a number of issues raised with me during the public consultation on the National Drugs Strategy”, the Minister continued. “It is my intention to use the additional funding to address gaps in service provision for under 18s and in providing more detox places in community and residential settings next year”.

“I expect to receive a report from the Steering Committee set up to advise me on the new drugs strategy early in the New Year. Minister Harris and I intend to develop and bring to Government a proposal for multi-annual investment in drugs as part of the memorandum for Government on the new strategy,” the Minister concluded.

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ENDS