But given continuing uncertainty about the strategy, the community sector has not formally signed off on it — as they were asked to do by the Department of Health.
The high-profile launch of the strategy NDS 2017-2024 at Dublin Castle next Monday could also be hit by protests from west Dublin activists over the way a local drug project is being closed.
Community representatives in Blanchardstown claim the principle of partnership between state and community sector is being undermined in the HSE’s role in the closure of Adapt Community Drugs Team and in how the HSE is redirecting its funding for it.
Meetings are ongoing to try and resolve the row before the launch.
As previously reported in the Irish Examiner, the NDS is moving away from criminalisation to a harm reduction focus. A high-level group is being set up to examine the issue of decriminalisation of drugs and gardaí will examine expanding the adult caution scheme to include drug possession.
An NDS steering group sat for over a year devising the strategy, comprising members from state, voluntary and community sectors.
Source: Cormac O'Keeffe, The Irish Examiner, 14/07/17