Alcohol Seminar - Public Health (Alcohol) Bill

Members of of the DLR - Drug and Alcohol Task Force attended a recent seminar on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill - “Lessons from the Past, Potential for the Future”, which was held on 25th September, 2015. The aim of the seminar was to bring together representatives from the Task Forces across all three sectors - community, voluntary and statutory - to have a focused discussion on the Alcohol Bill, within the context of:

  • The role of the Bill within the current National Strategy, and
  • Its role in the next National Drug and Alcohol Misuse Strategy, which is currently being prepared.

The seminar also aimed to add further to calls for the enactment of the Alcohol Bill and for participants to share their experiences, to date, of trying to incorporate alcohol into the work of task forces.

The keynote speaker for the seminar was Dr. Shane Butler, TCD who is a drug and alcohol policy specialist. His presentation to the seminar, along with a welcome/introduction, are available through youtube.

Following Shane Butler’s presentation the seminar split into breakout groups - a report on the feedback from these groups is available here.

The heads of the Alcohol Bill were published in February 2015 but no further progress has been made by Dáil representatives towards its enactment.

In concluding the seminar the following was agreed by the representatives of the Local Drug and Alcohol Task Forces in attendance:

  • All members of the Dáil should work together to enact the Public health (Alcohol) Bill within the lifetime of the current Dáil.
  • The Government should publish a new Drug and Alcohol Misuse Strategy
  • The Government should appoint a Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy
  • Resources should be put in place by Government to ensure the effective implementation of the new Drug and Alcohol Misuse Strategy
  • The Government should put into place a new inter-departmental National Drug and Alcohol Misuse Strategy Team to drive the implementation of the Bill.

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