374. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health his plans to expand availability of Naloxone to persons who use drugs as stated in the national drugs strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery 2017 to 2025; the level of availability for naloxone; the locations in which it is available; the number of occasions it has been used in an emergency situation in 2016, 2017, and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5567/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - National Drugs Strategy Implementation)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. 
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43. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of work on the new national drugs strategy; when the strategy will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20456/17 asked on 03 May 2017 - National Drugs Strategy Publication)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Government is committed to putting a new National Drugs Strategy in place from 2017 onwards, when the current policy expires. A Steering Committee with an independent chair has been established to advise me on the new Strategy. This committee has been mandated to develop an integrated public health approach to substance misuse, which is defined as the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol a...

123. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the additional funding that is being provided for the drugs strategy in 2017; the targets the funds are expected to deliver; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30657/16 asked on 18 Oct 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): On 12 October 2016, I announced the allocation of an additional €3m in the 2017 Budget to increase support for 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 ...

589. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if the Minister of State with responsibility for the national drugs strategy has met with the Minister of State with responsibility for mental health in regard to the next national drugs strategy; if so, the number of times they have met and the matters discussed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26611/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - National Drugs Strategy Implementation)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne) (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I meet regularly with Minister Harris and the other Ministers of State in the Department of Health to discuss matters of mutual interest. Such arrangements may be either formal or informal, as the circumstances require. I intend to liaise with all appropriate cabinet Ministers to ensure that the new National Drugs Strategy, which will commence in 2017, provides an up-to-date and effective response to...

590. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of times the Oversight Forum on Drugs has met in the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26612/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne) (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 590 and 593 together.
I have overall responsibility for the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016, which addresses the issue of problem drug use through five inter-connected pillars dealing with supply reduction, prevention (including education & awareness), treatment, rehabilitation and research. 
The Oversight Forum on Drugs (OFD) which I chair, i...

591. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if consideration will be given to hosting a drugs summit to hear the opinions of all interest groups with a view towards developing policy in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26613/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne) (Deputy Catherine Byrne): As the Deputy will be aware, a Steering Committee, with an independent chair, has been established to advise me on a new National Drugs Strategy, which will commence in 2017, when the current policy expires. On 6 September, I announced the details of a public consultation in order to assist the Steering Committee determine the key priorities to be addressed in the new Strategy. The public consultatio...

593. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if he will provide the attendance records of representatives of the education awareness prevention pillars at meetings held under the National Drug Strategy from 2008 to 2016 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26615/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne) (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 590 and 593 together.
I have overall responsibility for the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016, which addresses the issue of problem drug use through five inter-connected pillars dealing with supply reduction, prevention (including education & awareness), treatment, rehabilitation and research. 
The Oversight Forum on Drugs (OFD) which I chair, i...

594. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if consideration has been given to the roll-out of a national service level agreement across all section 37 and section 38 bodies involved in drug treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26616/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - National Drugs Strategy Implementation)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne) (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Government policy in relation to drugs underlines the importance of providing opportunities for people to move on from illicit drug use to a drug-free life, where that is achievable. In line with the National Drugs Strategy, the Health Service Executive has reoriented the addiction services in recent years so that they are capable of dealing with all substances. The HSE is continuing to develop the ...

430. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of moves towards the provision of an integrated treatment service for all substance users as outlined in the national drug strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19073/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 430, 433 and 439 together.
Government policy in relation to drugs underlines the importance of providing opportunities for people to move on from illicit drug use to a drug-free life, where that is achievable. In line with the National Drugs Strategy, the Health Service Executive has reoriented the addiction services in recent years so that they are capable of dealing with all substances. T...

431. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of cases of substance abuse treated in the past ten years per county, in tabular form; the number of these which received methadone treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19074/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 431 and 435 to 437, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. 
If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.
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433. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of the national drug rehabilitation implementation committee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19076/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 430, 433 and 439 together.
Government policy in relation to drugs underlines the importance of providing opportunities for people to move on from illicit drug use to a drug-free life, where that is achievable. In line with the National Drugs Strategy, the Health Service Executive has reoriented the addiction services in recent years so that they are capable of dealing with all substances. T...

435. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on a methadone programme per county over the past ten years; the number on waiting lists for a methadone programme for the same period; to provide the methadone completion numbers, that is, those who successfully came off the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19078/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 431 and 435 to 437, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. 
If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.
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436. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of general practitioner clinics participating in methadone programmes per county over the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19079/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 431 and 435 to 437, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. 
If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.
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437. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of pharmacies participating in methadone programmes per county over the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19080/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 431 and 435 to 437, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy. 
If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.
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439. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of the development of a clinical and organisational governance framework for all treatment and rehabilitation services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19082/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 430, 433 and 439 together.
Government policy in relation to drugs underlines the importance of providing opportunities for people to move on from illicit drug use to a drug-free life, where that is achievable. In line with the National Drugs Strategy, the Health Service Executive has reoriented the addiction services in recent years so that they are capable of dealing with all substances. T...

172. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health for an update on the prevention pillar of the national drugs strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18741/16 asked on 29 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy Implementation)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): The overall objective of the National Drugs Strategy is to tackle the harm caused to individuals and society by the misuse of drugs through a concerted focus on the five pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research. Periodic reviews of progress of the actions of the current Strategy are carried out through the Oversight Forum on Drugs, which I chair. The 2015 progress report on the impleme...

174. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health his views on the efficacy of the national drugs strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18743/16 asked on 29 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): The National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 is a cross cutting area of public policy and service delivery, which requires a coordinated multi-sectoral approach to tackling the drugs problem. Periodic reviews of progress of the actions of the current Strategy are carried out through the Oversight Forum on Drugs, which I chair. The 2015 progress report on the implementation of the actions of the National Drugs Strategy is availabl...

175. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health the status of the working group that was meant to be established to enhance the prevention pillar in non-school settings in the national drugs strategy. (Question 18744/16 asked on 29 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy Implementation)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): The matter raised by the Deputy relates to an action in the 2001-2008 National Drugs Strategy, which has been superseded by the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016.
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100. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if 20 local policing fora have been established and are in operation, as targeted in the national drugs strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16066/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy Implementation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can inform the Deputy that Action 2 of the National Drug Strategy provides a commitment to the establishment of local policing fora in all local drug task force areas. 
Further to that commitment an audit of local policing fora was undertaken by my Department in conjunction with local drug task forces in April 2012. This exercise identified 24 local policing fora operating at that time across the 14 local drug task f...

483. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health for an update on the work of the steering committee set up to oversee the development of the new national drugs strategy; the names of the members and chairperson of the committee; the number of times the committee has met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16063/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy Implementation)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): As the Deputy is aware, the Department of Health is developing a new National Drugs Strategy, which will cover the period from 2017 onwards. A Steering Committee, chaired by John Carr, former General Secretary of the Irish National Teachers Organisation and with representatives from the relevant Statutory, Community and Voluntary Sectors, has been established to advise me on how a new Strategy should address problem drug us...

484. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if the number of opiate users in County Dublin has decreased over the lifetime of the national drugs strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16067/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): The HSE maintains the Central Treatment List, which is a register of all clients in receipt of methadone maintenance treatment for problem opiate use in Ireland. However, the information sought by the Deputy is not available as only individuals who come into contact with drug treatment services are recorded.
Obtaining a reliable view of the extent of illicit drug use in the population can be difficult, because opiate users ...

485. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if there has been a reduction in the number of persons engaged in poly-drug use or in the level of drug misuse reported by school students, as targeted in the national drugs strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16068/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Government’s response to the problem of drug misuse in our society is set out in the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016. The overall objective of the National Drugs Strategy is to tackle the harm caused to individuals and society by the misuse of drugs through a concerted focus on the five pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research.
The nature and scale of drug misuse has changed in recen...

486. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if 100% of problem drug users are accessing treatment services within one month of assessment, as targeted in the national drugs strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16069/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 486 to 489, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
If the Deputy has not received replies from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.
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487. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if 100% of problem drug users under 18 years of age are accessing treatment services within one week of assessment, as targeted in the national drugs stategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16070/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 486 to 489, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
If the Deputy has not received replies from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.
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488. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health whether there has been a 25% increase in residential rehabilitation places based on 2008 figures, as targeted in the national drugs strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16071/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - National Drugs Strategy)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 486 to 489, inclusive, together.
As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
If the Deputy has not received replies from the HSE within 15 working days he should contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.
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