Minister Naughton leads approach to tackle drug and alcohol harm

The minister organised a meeting in Dublin where representatives from Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, and Guernsey came together to discuss and agree on a Forward Work Plan

The minister is pictured at the Department of Health with Lynne Neagle of Welsh Government and Deputy Al Brouard, Government of Guernsey (Photo by 1IMAGE/Bryan Brophy)

Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton has welcomed agreement for cooperation by British-Irish Council (BIC) members on initiatives to reduce drug and alcohol harm.

The minister was speaking as she hosted a ministerial meeting on the drugs and alcohol sector in Dublin, with representatives from other BIC member administrations, including Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man and Guernsey.

The ministers have agreed on a Forward Work Plan, which focuses on five themes including the involvement of people with lived experience in drugs services; drug use and drug services for people in prison; health-led approaches for people in possession of drugs for personal use; community action on alcohol (collaboration with the European framework on action on alcohol); and peer reviews on topical drug and alcohol trends.

Minister Naughton said: “We know that drug and alcohol problems are complex and multi-faceted, and have wide-reaching impacts for individuals, families and communities. These are not problems that any one administration can tackle alone, so the British-Irish Council provides a vital forum for members to share experiences and learn from one another in order to develop effective evidence-based-policies to reduce drug and alcohol harm.

“Over the past few years, our countries have worked together on approaches to reducing drug-related deaths and alcohol-related harms, with particular emphasis on the link between homelessness and drug and alcohol consumption.

“We have also worked hard to ensure that the voices of people with lived experience are heard in the development of robust policies and treatment services.

“Through continued engagement and sharing of information and experiences, I am confident that we can further utilise our shared learnings as we endeavour to expand and improve services for people affected by drug and alcohol use.”

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