Task force unveils new drugs strategy for Waterford
Education and early intervention alongside treatments and supports for families and communities are at the centre of a new strategy aimed at combating the scourge of drugs in Waterford.
The South East Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force (SERDATF) this week launched a three-year strategy to boost existing and planned drug programmes in Waterford and the region.
The strategy, titled ‘Challenge and Change: tackling Substance Misuse in the South East Region’, was developed over a 12-months period following consultation and feedback with members of the public.
It has developed six strategic objectives. These include a new strategy to focus on education at an early age and to identify vulnerable people so services can offer early intervention with young people, families and parents.
The new plan aims to deliver integrated treatment and support for people to sustain recovery, while supporting and rebuilding communities affected by drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour.
As part of the initiative, new and improved research will be carried out on substance abuse.
SERDATF is funded by the Department of Health and is one of 10 Regional Drugs Task Forces set up in 2003 under the National Drug Strategy. Its role is to research, develop, implement and monitor a co-ordinated response to illicit drug use in Waterford and the South East.
Speaking at the launch of the strategy, SERDATF chair Laurence Wrenne said: “Our main priorities, as we attempt to drive down substance misuse, is to reduce harm and provide the appropriate treatment services and plan future effective responses to the issues identified.
“Developing this strategy is a pledge to our communities in the South East that drug and alcohol misuse and its effects will be robustly tackled through a number of approaches, including prevention activities, education, community empowerment and treatment provision,” he added.