At the Assembly this week Foyle MLA Karen Mullan thanked the minister for meeting Ms. White in May.
Ms. Mullan asked if he will commit to ‘a full review of addiction services in Derry and the north-west, with a particular focus on females with addictions.’
Mr. Swann said Ms. White, who tragically lost her mother Louise to addiction earlier this year, was a ‘fantastic advocate’.
“I said that to her on the day we met. She has a passion for making sure that those addiction services and emergency crisis services are in place, especially in the city.
“The Member may not be aware that I visited a number of mental health facilities in the Western Trust on Friday, one of which was the Asha Centre, to see the work that they do and the service that they provide. Their work is to be commended, but it also needs to be enhanced and supported from what was in the original facility,” he stated.
Earlier this year Ms. White told the ‘Journal’ that she believed her mother Louise, who died in January aged 40 after battling alcohol and drug addiction, would still be alive if there was a detox centre in Derry.
A petition urging Mr. Swann to immediately provide a ‘Detox & Addiction Centre for Derry’ has been signed by close to 10,000 people.
Launching it Ms. White stated: “A detox and addiction centre for Derry is needed! Derry is on its knees due to addiction, mental health, and suicide.
“A centre of excellence for addiction could increase the number of residential beds, increase non-residential work, and make sure that pre-treatment and long term after care is given whilst also providing better support services to families and loved ones like mine.”
Funding for addiction services for Derry is a key commitment in the New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) agreement.