‘Community voices central to tackling Drug and Alcohol misuse’ - Flynn
Commenting after meeting officials from the Department of Health officials on the review of the New Strategic Direction framework for Drugs and Alcohol, Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn said:
"Following the 2018 review of the current framework for drug and alcohol services, I wanted to get an update directly from the officials responsible and relay feedback we have received from communities.
“Services are under pressure and many individuals, families and communities are dealing with the impact of substance misuse.
“Although over £16 million is spent on substance misuse services, I often see many struggling to access the right level of care at the right time for them.
“We know that across the North in 2017 there was 136 drug related deaths and nearly three times as many deaths related to alcohol. It just touches on the hidden harm and impact felt by communities and families.
“It’s welcome that the department have recognised our call to ensure that any future strategy or framework is co-designed and co-produced, with those who deliver and use the services.
“We need to ensure that services meet the needs of people. It is important we consider prevention, early intervention and treatment in how society responds to the problem.”