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First-time drug offenders to be referred to HSE in policy overhaul

Mandatory health screenings are to be introduced for people caught in possession of illegal drugs for personal use as part of a series of reforms due to be announced by Government on Friday.

There will be two components to the new health-led approach. A person in possession of narcotics, determined by An Garda Síochána to be for personal use, will on the first occasion be referred on a mandatory basis to the Health Service Executive for a health screening and a “brief intervention”.

Where a person is caught a second time, gardaí will have the discretion to issue an adult caution.

Under the current scheme, a caution is applied to an offender as an alternative to prosecution in the courts and a possible criminal record. The scheme was introduced in 2006, primarily to deal with minor offences committed by first-time offenders.

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan are due to outline the new policy.

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Source: Jennifer Bray, The Irish Times, 02/09/19 

Posted by drugs.ie on 08/02 at 01:12 PM in
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