Smith calls for review in the area of addiction services

Published on: 21 July 2020

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called for a review regarding the provision of services to help with addiction problems and highlighted difficulties faced by services providers in the border region.

Speaking at a dedicated topical issue debate in the Dáil, at the request of Deputy Smith, he explained, “Cavan Drug Awareness Trust has done tremendous work in Counties Cavan and Monaghan. They have helped people going through personal difficulties and educated many on the dangers of illegal drugs and other addictive substances.

“However, for a number of years DCA have struggled financially. It has received financial support over the years from the North Eastern Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force. The current funding model is fundamentally flawed in that it is static for existing projects. This is a reduction in funding in the face of costs increasing constantly. Some additional funds were made available for new initiatives, but the projects that already operate must do so on a continually diminishing budget and this is not sustainable.

“I am very familiar with the work of the CDA Trust and I have visited the centre on many occasions. I know and appreciate the commitment and dedication of the manager, Tim Murphy, and his staff colleagues, as well as the commitment of Padraig McBreen, the chairman of the board, and all his voluntary committee colleagues.

“I am encouraged that the Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy Frank Feighan TD will meet with the CDA Trust. He will see at first hand the value of this project and the need to ensure it survives and provides the services that are required by so many individuals. He will also see the need to ensure that the Task Forces are enabled to provide services as originally planned,” concluded Deputy Smith.