June 20, 2023
HRB report on addiction must be a wake-up call for government – Thomas Gould TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing, Thomas Gould TD, has today urged the government to take action to resolve funding deficits in addiction services and community addiction services.

Responding to the latest Health Research Board (HRB) report, Teachta Gould said:

“With over 12,000 people seeking support for addiction issues in 2022, it is clear that we need to invest in our addiction services to support recovery journeys across this island. 

“We must end the postcode lottery of services and ensure that where anyone is willing to take the first brave step on their recovery journey, the state is there to provide the services they need.

“Those working on the ground in communities have warned that cocaine addiction has been rising for a number of years now. 

“The government is still providing less funding to Taskforces than they received in 2010  this is a real barrier to them resourcing proactive and localised responses to these drug trends. 

“While the HRB report is hugely important in tracking national trends, those working on the ground can identify and act on these much earlier.

“However, Taskforces are still operating at a €3 million budget deficit compared to their 2010 funding. Austerity had huge impacts on community services and many of these have never fully recovered.

“This report needs to be a wake up call for the government. It is time to tackle addiction and resource recovery. We must address systemic issues such as poverty while simultaneously ensuring that our addiction sector is equipped to meet the needs of those who are seeking help.

“Sinn Féin believes in using localised expertise from those on the ground to rebuild our community addiction sector and to make recovery possible. 

“We believe that the skills are there, the commitment is there and the people are there. Communities want to begin recovery journeys, they just need the resourcing to do so.”

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