An information leaflet ‘A guide for safe disposal of drug related waste and litter in County Westmeath’, was launched as part of a public information campaign, following a meeting of Westmeath Joint Policing Committee held in Athlone on the 20th July 2015.
This information campaign was launched in response to concerns received by the Midland Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force and HSE CADS (Community, Alcohol and Drug Service), from the general public over incidences of discarded drug litter in areas of County Westmeath.
The production of this leaflet is a result of a co-ordinated and multiagency response from the Midland Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force, HSE CADS (Community, Alcohol and Drug Service), Westmeath County Council, An Garda Síochána and HSE Environmental Health. Community Services Manager for the HSE in Westmeath Joe Whelan stated that ‘no one agency can deal with the many different aspects of substance misuse and it is only by working in partnership with other agencies can we maximise the effectiveness of our interventions. In this regard the MRDATF, under the leadership of its Co-ordinator, should be commended for this initiative and its multi agency approach.’
The information leaflet details the number to contact to report incidents of drug related litter it County Westmeath. It also details a list of contact details for advice on needle disposal, and services and supports available in the midland region. Listed also on the leaflet is an online link to Drugs.ie, for information on types of drug related litter and on-line training in relation to safe disposal log on www.drugs.ie/saferdisposal.
Pending a review of this six month pilot, it is hoped that a broader campaign will be rolled out across the Midland Region.
Speaking at the launch Antoinette Kinsella, Co-ordinator MRDATF said:
‘This information leaflet will be distributed widely throughout County Westmeath over the coming weeks. Drug related litter to include injecting equipment is hazardous and needs to be disposed of by people who know how. It is important if people do come across drug litter that they contact the Lo Call number detailed on the leaflet 1890 320 005’