DAMIS (Drug and Alcohol Monitoring and Information System) is an “early warning system” designed to identity, verify and assess emerging threats and potential trends in drug and alcohol misuse. It is an information sharing tool in support of the wider DAMIS partnership which comprises Department of Health, Department of Justice, Public Health Agency, Police Service of Northern Ireland and Forensic Service Northern Ireland. Representatives from these agencies form the DAMIS Steering Group, and they make decisions about how to act on any information received.
Because DAMIS is an early warning system and information fed into it is acted upon quickly, emails sent to the DAMIS Network are often based on anecdotal and/or unsubstantiated evidence and should be treated with initial caution. Many of the reports received by DAMIS are second or third-hand information from a single source, and are not supported by any additional evidence.
IPH work includes support for the development of alcohol policy in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. IPH facilitates cooperation on addressing alcohol-related harm across the island of Ireland through the North South Alcohol Policy Advisory Group.
In addition, IPH recently undertook a stakeholder engagement process to inform the review of the New Strategic Direction for Alcohol and Drugs Phase 2 (2011-2016) in Northern Ireland.