New Health Minister agrees to meet Derry addiction taskforce

Chairperson of the Assembly’s Health committee and Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin has welcomed the news that the new Health Minister Jim Wells has agreed to meet the Derry addiction taskforce.

Chair of the Assembly’s Health committee Maeve McLaughlin said “I am pleased to have received correspondence  from the Minister that he is happy to meet with the recently established  Derry addiction taskforce to discuss the rehabilitation services for under-16s in the Foyle area. He has also said that reducing the harms caused by substance to individuals, families and communities is a key priority.

It is hoped that meeting can be arranged at the earliest opportunity in the New Year.

I very much welcomed the formation of taskforce in Derry earlier this year. It has brought together the relevant statutory bodies and services providers.  The role of the taskforce will be to develop Derry’s proposal on the future of addiction services.

What is required is an early intervention model that addresses the core reasons for addiction especially among our young people – no one should underestimate that challenge.  The Taskforce includes Western Health Trust, Public Health Agency, PSNI, WELB, Drug coordinating teams, as well as direct service providers from the community sector.