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