Twenty-four drug and alcohol forces across the country will receive €20,000 each to restore drug and alcohol services that have been impacted by Covid-19.
The €480,000 will be made available to the network of 24 Drug and Alcohol Task Forces for distribution to community and voluntary drug and alcohol services in their areas. Each task force will receive up to €20,000 in once-off funding to meet Covid-19 related costs.
Making the announcement, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan said it was a key priority for government during Covid-19 is to protect, safeguard and support health, social care and other essential services.
“The safe resumption of community-based drug and alcohol services is a key component of this approach and as a result this has been a major aspect of my Department’s work since the arrival of this pandemic to our shores.
“As Minister with responsibility for this area, I want to state that we fully recognise the vital role being played by drug and alcohol services across the country in reducing the harms of substance use and supporting rehabilitation and recovery.”
Under the scheme, task forces can apply to cover the costs associated with the restoration of drug and alcohol services including additional training for staff, PPE and safety equipment and meeting exceptional needs of clients during the Covid-19 crisis.
Minister Feighan added: “It is important that drug and alcohol services are restored in a planned and appropriate manner in line with public health advice. I want to thank the working group of stakeholders for their contributions in developing the Framework for the Restoration of Drug and Alcohol services.
“I am aware that services have already adapted the COVID-19 return to work safety protocols and latest public health and safety advice. It is very important that staff and service users are protected from the ongoing threat of COVID-19.”