Press Release

O’Malley welcomes report highlighting interaction between mental health and addiction services

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for the Mental Health portfolio, today (1st November) welcomed the launch of the Report of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs on Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Management of Dual Diagnosis in Ireland.  Minister O’Malley, speaking at the launch in Tullamore, said “this Report will contribute both to the current review of the National Drugs Strategy and to the work being done by the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy and the Mental Health Commission.  In this context, we will continue to strive to provide services which meet the needs of our clients, and particularly vulnerable clients such as those with mental illness and addiction problems.”

“The NACD Report is a very worthwhile report which focuses on the interaction between mental health and addiction services and how those services can best meet the needs of people with a dual diagnosis addiction and mental health issues.”

The National Drugs Strategy review, which was carried out last year, notes that there are strong links between alcohol use and other addictions.  A number of submissions to the review emphasised that alcohol was the main misuse problem encountered among young people all over the country.

The strategies employed in primary prevention are similar and the new national drugs strategy recommends that there is close communication between the co-ordinator of the National Alcohol Strategy and the National Drugs Strategy Team, who are employed by the health boards.

Services provided by the health boards for treatment of alcohol abuse include family support and community, medical and social services in the management of the problem.  A range of comprehensive community-based support services appropriate to the needs of persons affected and afflicted by alcohol abuse are also continuously developed.  As alcohol related problems occur, in many instances, in local and family settings, the community-based response can be direct and early, thereby reducing the associated levels of physical, psychological and social problems.

Minister O’Malley stated “Improvements in standards of care within the wider service will directly affect the care of those persons who suffer mental illness and addiction problems and the work done by the NACD will contribute to ongoing development of services for this particularly vulnerable group.”

Minister’s Speech