Written Answers - National Drugs Strategy.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 636 No. 1

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  59.  Ms McManus  Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus   asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs  Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív   his views on the recent report of the Working Group on Drug Rehabilitation, that represents the fifth pillar of the National Drugs Strategy; the main recommendations of this report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15004/07]

  60.  Mr. Ferris  Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris   asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs  Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív   if consideration has been given to increasing the number of community employment places ringfenced as part of the rehabilitation strategy of the National Drugs Strategy, and to increasing the duration of the CE term to take account of the chaotic nature of the lives of many of the drug addicts when they begin CE and the damage caused to their rehabilitation programme if the stability CE brings to their lives is undermined by an arbitrary cut-off date. [14968/07]

  702.  Mr. McGinley  Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley   asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs  Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív   the progress made by the working group on the rehabilitation tier of the National Drugs Strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15159/07]

Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  I propose to take Questions Nos. 59, 60 and 702 together.

The Report of the Working Group on Drugs Rehabilitation was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion last month. It is currently being printed and it is envisaged that the report will be launched in the next few weeks.

The Working Group has taken a holistic view of rehabilitation and, while recognising the importance of clients being activated and prepared to fulfil their own role towards rehabilitation, it sees — as a key aim of the overall process — the empowering of recovering problem drug users so that they can re-engage with society in a manner consistent with their needs and expectations.

The key recommendations of the Report focus on:

an effective inter-agency approach (protocols, service level agreements, quality standards);

treatment facilities (in particular regarding detoxification);

community employment related; and

broader life issues including medical support, employment, access to education, housing, particular issues relating to the rehabilitation of offenders, childcare, the role of families in the rehabilitation process and research.

The Working Group acknowledged the contribution Community Employment (CE) is making to the drugs rehabilitation effort. They are recommending an increase from 1,000 to 1,300 in the number of drug-specific CE places, with increased focus on the educational and health requirements of participants. A pre-CE stabilisation initiative is also recommended.


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