The Commission has responded to the Department of Health’s consultation on a Substance Use Strategy, which focuses on the prevention of harm and empowerment of recovery from substance use.
Research we conducted in 2011 and found that individuals in Northern Ireland who had experienced a conflict-related traumatic event were more likely to have had a substance or impulse-control disorder. A follow up study in 2015 quantified this as approximately 213,000 people.
The Substance Use team from the department therefore met with the Commission and Forum to discuss the importance of providing direct consideration to the needs of victims and survivors in this strategy. Following these discussions and feedback, our response highlights the impact the legacy of violence has had upon individuals and communities, and calls for specific attention to be granted to victims and survivors.