Drugs Task Forces

The overall role of the Drugs Task Forces is to prepare and implement action plans that identify existing and emerging gaps in services in relation to the five pillars of the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016:
  • supply reduction
  • prevention
  • treatment
  • rehabilitation and
  • research
Fourteen Local Drugs Task Forces (LDTFs) have been established in areas experiencing the highest levels of drug misuse, particularly heroin. Thirteen of the fourteen were established in 1997 (12 in Dublin, 1 in Cork), with Bray being set up in 2000. Ten Regional Drugs Task Forces (RDTFs) have been established in the areas not covered by Local Drugs Task Forces.
Annual funding from the Drugs Initiative supports projects in the Task Force areas covering a wide variety of initiatives across the pillars of the Strategy, ranging from prevention, awareness, treatment, emerging needs, curbing local supply, cocaine use and rehabilitation. In addition, dedicated funding is allocated by the Mid Western Regional Drugs Task Force to address the specific problems in Limerick City.
Membership of the Task Forces include representatives of all the relevant agencies such as the Health Service Executive, the Gardaí, the Probation and Welfare Service, the VEC, the Local Authority, the Youth Service and FÁS, as well as elected public representatives and Voluntary and Community sector representatives.
Drugs Advisory Group
The primary function of the Drugs Advisory Group (DAG) is to advise the Minister of State on operational and policy matters relating to the National Drug Strategy 2009 – 2016, working to:
support and drive the implementation of the NDS, primarily at local and regional levels;
ensure effective co-ordination between Departments and Agencies, including their timely input into operational and policy developments so as to positively influence programme and resource allocations in relation to drugs issues; facilitate and support the engagement of the community and voluntary sectors in their roles in the NDS; oversee and support the work of the Local and Regional Drugs Task Forces, ensure that policy is informed by their work and provide a liaison, reporting and representational role between the Task Forces and the Drug Programmes Unit; and support the work of the Oversight Forum on Drugs and provide such reports to it as may be necessary from time to time.
Membership of the DAG is drawn from all relevant agencies and Government departments, along with representatives of the Community and Voluntary Sectors and broadly reflects the membership of the Drugs Task Forces.