Sinn Féin spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing Thomas Gould TD has today called on Minister for State Frank Feighan to explain delays in the establishment of Strategic Implementation Groups.
Teachta Gould said:
“At the Oireachtas Health Committee in January this year, the Department gave a firm assurance that the Strategic Implementation Groups would meet by the end of Quarter 1.
“They confirmed that there was a tight timeframe for this, but indicated that it would happen.
“Q1 is now over and the Minister has responded to me today confirming that the membership of these groups has not even been confirmed.
“This is yet another delay on the National Drugs Strategy and drawing up a new plan for the strategy going forward. It is now two years since the last Action Plan’s timeframe ended; the strategy itself only runs until 2025.
“Given that only 11 of the previous 50 actions were completed, there is a very clear message being sent here to those in addiction or recovery and the staff and family members supporting them: This government does not see you as a priority.
“Budget2022 saw Minister Feighan announce just €4m to be directly targeted at the addiction sector.
“Sinn Féin’s Budget would have been transformative for the addiction sector with over ten times the allocation secured by the Junior Minister.
“This is because we believe in the community addiction sector and we believe in resourcing recovery while tackling addiction.”