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Monday, 5 September 2016

Invitation to the new National Drugs Strategy Regional Event


Invitation to Public Consultation Events to Inform the New National Drugs Strategy 2017

The Department of Health is developing a new National Drugs Strategy to run from 2017 onwards.  
On 6th September, Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne, T.D., will announce details of a six-week period of public consultation to inform the new National Drugs Strategy.  The views of the public, community and voluntary sectors, young people, family networks, service users and Government departments/agencies will be sought on the existing strategy to inform the new strategy. This will include details of a dedicated questionnaire, phone line, regional events, postal and email address that will operate throughout the consultation period (6th September to 18th October inclusive).
As part of the consultation, the Department is organising four regional consultation events. We would like to invite a representative(s) of your organisation to attend one (or more) of these events to contribute to the consultation.  The dates and venues for the events are provided below. Each event will take place between 2pm and 5pm each day.
The Minister will open and address each event.  Mr John Carr (Chair of the National Drugs Strategy Steering Committee)Ms. Susan Scally (Principal Officer, Drugs Policy Unit) and a number of guest speakers (including service users) will address participants. There will be opportunity for interactive discussion on the existing strategy and the issues participants think are important to inform the new strategy. All feedback received, during the consultation process and including feedback received during these events will be collated into a Public Consultation Report for the Department of Health. Participants at the events will be invited and encouraged to make a submission during the public consultation period.
To register and secure your place for representative(s) of your organisation, pleaseRSVP to fiona.curranlonergan@rpsgroup.com by 5pm on Thursday 8th September, 2016, or before.
1.    Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon    Monday 12th September 2016
2.    Limerick Strand Hotel, Limerick                 Wednesday 14th September 2016

3.    The Metropole Hotel, Cork                           Thursday 15th September 2016

4.    Alexander Hotel, Dublin                                  Monday 19th September 2016
Please note that if you are unable to attend a consultation event, but would like to provide your views on the existing strategy and the issues you think are important to be considered for the new strategy, you will be able to do so between 6th September and 18th October, 2016 via the dedicated consultation questionnairephone line,postal and email service announced on 6th September by Minister Byrne.
The existing National Drugs Strategy (2009-2016) to tackle problem drug use in Ireland is developed around five pillars.  These are:
1.    Supply Reduction – This pillar refers to policies and programmes which aim to reduce the supply and availability of drugs in Ireland. 
2.    Prevention - This pillar is concerned with developing a greater understanding of the dangers of problem drug/alcohol use with aim of preventing drug misuse.
3.    Treatment &
4.    Rehabilitation – The treatment and rehabilitation pillars of the existing strategy are about the services, treatments and support available for those who have drugs misuse problems. 
5.    Research - This pillar is concerned with information and statistics about drug misuse in Ireland and understanding the factors that influence people (including young people) to misuse drugs.
Kind regards,
Fíona Curran Lonergan, 

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