On the 24th June 2019 the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor convened a meeting in Dublin to review the issue of drug use in higher education. Views were sought from a range of academics, practitioners and experts in education, healthcare and law enforcement on the issue of drug use in Irish Higher Education. Following this meeting, the Minister initiated a number of activities to further understand and develop responses to the issues discussed. Amongst these was the establishment of an interagency Rapid Response Group (RRG) with the goal of drafting a multi-component Action-Plan, consistent with national strategy. This document is based on and reflects the work undertaken by the group and endorses their recommendations. In order to reduce the number of students who decide to use drugs and reduce the harm experienced by those students who have chosen to use drugs, higher education institutions (HEIs) are recommended to undertake the following four core actions: 1. Each higher education institution should develop a Drug and Alcohol Policy specific to the HEI. 2. Each higher education institution should develop and implement a Drug and Alcohol Action Plan specific to the HEI and their students. 3. Each higher education institution should assign to a Senior Officer of the HEI the responsibility for leading the development of the Policy and the implementation of the Action Plan. 4. Each higher education institution should facilitate student engagement with the collection of national level data on drug use in HEIs.
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