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Minister of State Alex White. Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Alex White announces reforms to drugs task forces

More than €28 million will be made available to the task forces next year to support community based initiatives.

MINISTER OF STATE Alex White today announced the conclusion of a review of the Drugs Task Forces and a series of reforms to better equip them.

The review recommends a series of changes to help the task forces to respond with the current pattern of substance misuse.

The forces will now be renamed the “Drug and Alcohol Task Forces” reflecting their current role in tackling substance misuse, including alcohol.

The other key changes include:

  • A National Coordinating Committee to be established to guide the work of  the  Drug and Alcohol Task Forces and drive implementation of the National Drugs Strategy;
  • Clearer  terms  of reference and corporate governance guidelines for Drug and Alcohol Task Forces;
  • Measures  to encourage more Public Representative involvement in the work of Drug and Alcohol Task Forces;
  • Review  of the number and boundaries of Drugs Task Forces, mainly in Dublin.

Commenting today, White said the reforms are focused on “strengthening the impact of the Drugs Task Forces so that they continue to be central to the local response to tackling the drug and alcohol problem”.

He said in excess of €28 million will be made available to the task forces from the Drugs Initiative Fund in 2013 to support community based drugs initiatives.

White also said he intends to bring forward further measures to improve  management  and  control  of  expenditure  by  the community drugs projects overseen by the Drugs Task Forces in the New Year.

Read: Government failure to tackle alcohol abuse had “devastating” impact on society – health specialist>

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