Press Release

Minister White welcomes the inclusion of a Substance Misuse Measure in the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2014

The Minister of State for Primary Care, Mr. Alex White, T.D. today (8 July 2014) 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.

“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 “ said the Minister.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces have been identified as the appropriate structures through which the measure will be implemented. Funding of €50,000 will be available to each Task Force equating to a total of €1.2 million for 2015.

Ends

Note to Editors

The Dormant Accounts Act 2001 together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 and the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Acts 2005-2012 provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings and in this regard, institutions/undertakings are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.

The legislation also provides for a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed. In each year monies may be disbursed in accordance with Part 6 of the 2012 Act, from the Account, but only for the purposes of programmes or projects to assist:

1. the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;

2. the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged or

3. persons with a disability (within the meaning of the Equal Status Act 2000).

Pobal administers Dormant Accounts Measures on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and certain other Departments, including the Department of Health.

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.