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Research central to implementation of new National Drugs Strategy

17 July 2017

Research and evidence will form a key part of Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery. A health-led approach to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-25.

Welcoming the launch of the report today, Dr Mairead O Driscoll, Interim Chief Executive at the Health Research Board (HRB) said; 

‘Providing evidence to underpin policy development and changes in practice is central to what we do at the Health Research Board. It is great to see such a focus on research in this new strategy and I welcome that the HRB has been identified as the central information hub for the collection, management and dissemination of data relating to the drugs situation, consequences and responses.’

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Health, Simon Harris emphasised the importance of using the best available evidence in implementing responses to problem drug use.  He said, 

‘Our aim in this strategy is to reduce drug use and related harms and increase successful recovery and rehabilitation. We asked the HRB to commission two reports that would inform our thinking as we developed this strategy. One looked at the current drug situation in Ireland since 2005. The other examined existing evidence on what interventions worked in the areas of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery in relation to illicit drug use. These reports have been of great value to the work of the Steering Committee.’ 

The HRB will continue to be the Irish national focal point to the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction and will be responsible for reporting to Europe on the drugs situation in Ireland and the responses to it.  They will also commission any research identified by the National Drugs Strategy Committee to address the gaps in their knowledge.

The two reviews commissioned by the Health Research Board to inform the National Drug Strategy are: - 

The drugs situation in Ireland: a review of the evidence since 2005 www.drugsandalcohol.ie/27254

The effectiveness of interventions related to the use of illicit drugs: prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery. A ‘review of reviews’ www.drugsandalcohol.ie/27253/

Dr Mairead O’Driscoll said, ‘These HRB reports provide a resource that will be of great interest to policy makers, practitioners, researchers and the general public both in Ireland and internationally working on effective interventions related to illicit drug use’.

The full report, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery 2017-2025 is available at the link below

For more information contact: 

Brian Galvin, Head of Ireland’s Focal Point for European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

HRB Evidence Centre

+353 86 1573471

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