Frank Feighan TD, Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing, and the National Drugs Strategy, today announced €850,000 in recurring funding for a HSE-led initiative to reduce the health-related harms associated with the use of cocaine and ‘crack’ cocaine. The new funding is provided in the Revised Estimates for Public Services 2022.
The funding will support models of best practice in cocaine treatment, including the development of training programmes for addiction service staff nationally. It will also establish targeted interventions in disadvantaged communities worst affected by cocaine and ‘crack’ cocaine.
On this Minister Feighan said:
“Strengthening harm reduction responses to the use of cocaine and ‘crack’ cocaine is a strategic priority for the National Drugs Strategy for the period 2021-2025. This initiative will also contribute to a whole of government response to the social determinants and consequences of drug use in disadvantaged communities.”
“I welcome the HSE’s leadership and commitment to work with relevant stakeholders, including community and voluntary organisations, in developing and delivering this initiative. This partnership approach is at the heart of the National Drugs Strategy.’’
Dr Eamon Keenan, National Clinical Lead in Addiction Services, Health Service Executive said:
“Over the past few years there has been a growing recognition of the problems associated with cocaine use and the emergence of ‘crack’ cocaine in disadvantaged communities.”
“This funding will support services in delivering evidence-based interventions and will increase training opportunities for staff in Addiction Services nationally. It will also improve the support provided to those affected by adverse health consequences of cocaine or ‘crack’ cocaine use.
‘’Community Health Organisations will shortly be invited to submit proposals to deliver an intervention for cocaine problems and this will include communities where there is a significant issue with ‘crack’ cocaine. Applications will be required to provide an indication of the identified population need, as well as an evidence-base for the proposed intervention. It is the intention to allocate the funding in Q2 2022.’’