09 Aug 2022

Waterford public meeting to 'robustly tackle' drug and alcohol misuse

Waterford public meeting to 'robustly tackle' drug and alcohol misuse

Waterford public meeting to 'robustly tackle' drug and alcohol misuse

Dealing with substance misuse will be the topic of a Waterford public consultation next week.

In a joint initiative between researchers at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and the South East Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force - with the support of HSE/South East Community Healthcare - a free public network café will take place at Dooley’s Hotel on February 27 at 6.30pm to gather information towards identifying priorities for a Drug and Alcohol Implementation Strategy for the South East.

The South East Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force has commissioned the Health Sciences/Nursing and Healthcare Department of WIT to conduct a situational analysis and implementation plan, which will aid the task force in its role of coordinating the implementation of the National Drug Strategy in the context of the needs of the South East.

A principal goal of the National Drugs Strategy in Ireland is to minimise the harms caused by the use and misuse of substances, promoting better health and social outcomes through the provision of a range of treatment, rehabilitation and recovery services. The strategy also identifies the need for meaningful participation amongst individuals, families and communities in the planning, design and delivery of effective services.

Regional and local drug and alcohol task forces play a major role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug and alcohol problems within the areas they serve. The task forces coordinate a multi-disciplinary targeted local response. In this regard, the South East Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force, in collaboration with researchers at WIT, will be hosting the network cafés across the region. The purpose of these events is to facilitate collaborative conversation between those in service provision, volunteers, users of the services and/or their families, and members of the community affected by issues of substance misuse.

Dr Michelle Foley, a researcher at WIT with extensive experience in the research field of drug addiction, is the principal investigator of the Drug and Alcohol Implementation Strategy for the South East. Looking forward to the process, Dr. Foley said: “Developing a 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.

“The strategy will complement the vision of the Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery Strategy, aimed at reducing the damage caused by substance misuse to individuals, communities and Irish society as a whole by 2025.”

The Waterford event is free to attend. Those who would like more information can contact Chris Purnell on and Dr Michelle Foley on

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