Minister Ó Ríordáin addresses the first meeting of the National Drugs Strategy Steering Committee
Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, T.D., addressed the first meeting of the National Drugs Strategy Steering Committee today.
The Steering Committee has been established to provide guidance and advice to assist the Minister in the development of a new National Drugs Strategy, which will commence in January 2017. It is intended that the new Strategy will provide an integrated policy approach to substance misuse, including a broad public health approach to tobacco and alcohol, as well as other substances which are subject to control or prohibition.
Opening the first meeting of the Steering Committee, the Minister said: “The development of a new National Drugs Strategy will provide us with a real opportunity to make a difference to the lives of those affected by substance misuse.”
“A number of weeks ago I announced that John Carr would be chairing the Steering Committee and overseeing the development of the new strategy. As a former General Secretary of the Irish National Teachers Organisation, John brings a lot of experience to the role and has the negotiating and mediation skills for the work ahead”.
The Minister acknowledged that the Steering Committee has a comprehensive and wide ranging membership, representing all the key Government departments and agencies, as well as the community and voluntary sectors and the drug and alcohol task forces.
“I believe that the partnership approach is essential to tackling what is a complex and multi-faceted problem”, he continued. “No single department, agency or organisation can solve this problem alone and we must continue to work together to provide better outcomes for those affected by the issue.”
It is expected that the Steering Committee will present its report to the Oversight Forum on Drugs, which is chaired by the Minister with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, in the Autumn of 2016.