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Drug and Alcohol Strategy 10 February 2004

Now well past the half way stage, the Chief Minister's five-year Drug and Alcohol Strategies have witnessed substantial progress, according to the fourth annual report.

The 2002/2003 annual report of the Chief Minister's Drug and Alcohol Strategies is introduced by Chief Minister Richard Corkill MHK who pays tribute to all parties - statutory and non-statutory - working in partnership to reduce the harmful effects of drugs and their availability in the Isle of Man.

Mr Corkill says:

"While recognising that many challenges remain, significant progress has been, and continues to, be made."

Mr Corkill expresses his satisfaction at the way one of the strategy's core principles - inter-agency cooperation - has been embraced wholeheartedly by all parties involved. It is, he says,

"a policy that is serving us well."

Drug and alcohol co-ordinator Margaret O'Reilly says that she is 'extremely pleased' with the progress achieved to date.' It is progress based on a fully integrated cross-departmental approach, and one that has received endorsement through an external validation process.

She explains that now is the time to consolidate efforts and take stock of achievements to date, but also to prepare for the major undertaking of reviewing and updating the strategies for the future, a task due to commence in January 2004, and one that would be carried out in consultation with the Manx community as well as those working in the field of drug and alcohol misuse. Key factors contributing to the strategies' successful progress to date were:

  • Increased treatment, educational and community initiatives
  • Continued support from local press and radio
  • A number of successful criminal justice operations
  • Continued forging of close links with the British Irish Council
  • The establishing of a database system to provide robust evidence-based information with which to formulate future action plans
  • Implementation of school surveys
  • Increased recognition of the need to share and exchange information between all agencies

The Chief Minister's Drug and Alcohol Strategies, launched in March 1999 and February 2000 respectively, aim to reduce the harm caused to the community through drug or alcohol misuse by:

  • Preventing the misuse of drugs and alcohol among young people
  • Providing effective treatment and support for those misusing drugs and alcohol
  • Increasing the safety of communities from drug or alcohol related crime
  • Reducing the availability of drugs in the Island
  • Developing drug and alcohol policies in the workplace

The Drug and Alcohol Strategy Committee is headed by the Chief Minister. It includes the Ministers of Health and Social Security, Home Affairs, Education and Treasury, plus senior officers from these Departments.

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