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More than 12,700 people get treatment to combat drug use

Mr Carey warned that illicit drugs use was now happening across all social strata and appeared to be spreading geographically across the country.

“Alcohol, as a potential gateway to illicit drugs, is also a real issue,” he said. The minister was launching the first in a series of 15 public consultation meetings on a new National Drugs Strategy 2009-16. “The issue of drug use is complex and difficult,” he said. “It is a global issue and no country has succeeded in tackling all aspects of the problem.

“Our efforts to tackle it in Ireland must, therefore, be seen in that context. The current strategy represents our first attempt to develop a fully coordinated response to the problem. It grew out of the threat posed to individuals, families and communities by heroin, in particular, at that time.”

Mr Carey said while they still had “much to do”, he believed they had many achievements under the existing strategy, including the hugely increased level of drug seizures by the gardaí and customs service.

Prevention measures included programmes in the schools and the successful Young People Facilities and Services Fund now being extended to Arklow, Wexford, Athlone and Dundalk.

Mr Carey said research in areas such as drugs prevalence, cocaine, treatment outcomes and the effect of drugs on families would help to map out the future approach.

In addition to hearing the views of the public at the consultation meetings, the minister said they would also be holding an extensive series of meetings with government departments and agencies and with community and voluntary interests.

“But the public consultation phase allows members of the public — who are not directly represented by any of these groups — to air their views and to put forward proposals on how best to tackle drug misuse and associated issues.”

“The new strategy will run for eight years, and though there will be opportunities for review during that period, it is important that we try to get it right from the outset so that we can tackle this major social issue facing our society.”

Mr Carey said he had established a steering group to develop proposals on a new drugs strategy.

Source: Daily Dose

Posted by Administrator on 04/23 at 12:00 AM in
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