Trinity professor Catherine Comiskey has been appointed to the role of sole academic expert on the National Oversight Committee, which is responsible for implementing the new national drug and alcohol strategy for 2017-2025.
Regarding her appointment, the healthcare statistics professor at the school of nursing and midwifery stated that she was “honoured” to be appointed. She told Trinity News that her role on the committee would be to “provide comment and input as an independent academic with a knowledge of the research evidence and as an active researcher in the addiction field.”
“As an educator and academic in general healthcare research, I can bring those skills and contribute to critical appraisal of any documents or debates.”
The strategy, entitled “Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery” is a health-lead response to the harm caused by substance misuse in Ireland. Key actions in the plan include introducing a pilot supervised injecting facility in Dublin’s city centre and the establishment of a new targeted youth services scheme for young people at risk of substance misuse in socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
In conjunction with this strategy, which was launched this July, the National Oversight Committee was implemented by the Taoiseach. The committee is chaired by Catherine Byrne, Minister for Health Promotion and Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy, and will provide leadership and direction for the national drug strategy.
Professor Comiskey has been actively involved in research relating to the field of drug addiction for over 20 years. She was vice chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and acted as chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol.