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Government apathy on addiction must end – Thomas Gould TD

18 November, 2021 - by Thomas Gould TD, Thomas Gould TD

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing, Thomas Gould TD, has today called on the government to properly resource the community addiction sector. 

His comments come in response to the publication of the Mid-Term Review of the National Drugs Strategy.

Teachta Gould said:

“The previous Action List, 2017-2020, had 50 actions. The Minister’s claim that 25 of these were completed is misleading. Only 11 Actions were completed, with a further 34 still in progress and 5 that appear to have no status.

“Instead of patting themselves on the back, the Minister needs to be looking at what went wrong. 

“This morning, I attended the CityWide virtual 25 year celebration conference. What really struck me was the depth of knowledge and experience being shared. We need to utilise this experience not exclude it.

“It is extremely disappointing that the Community Sector were given no notice of the publication of the Mid-Term review. It would appear none of the concerns they raised when shown the draft priorities were addressed.

“Opening consultation on a strategy cannot be tokenistic. The community sector has a vital role to play in the fight against addiction, but they can’t do this without resources, support and crucially funding from central government.

“Sinn Fein’s Alternative Budget would have seen a €45.5million investment in the addiction sector. We would have given the power back to communities and experts on the ground to tackle addiction in their areas.

“A Sinn Fein government would fight addiction and resource recovery because for too long now, the voice of the community has been ignored.”

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