National Family Support Network Drug-Related Intimidation Programme
Intimidation as a result of drug-related debt has become an area of increasing concern across many strands of our society. To tackle this issue, the ‘Drug-Related Intimidation Programme’ was established by the National Family Support Network and the Garda National Drugs Unit. The purpose of this programme is to respond to the needs of people who use drugs and family members who are experiencing drug-related intimidation.
What is 'drug related debt' and intimidation?
People who use drugs and their family members can be intimidated by drug dealers to repay money owed for drugs. People could build up a debt over time by accessing drugs without paying or if they buy in large quantities. Forms of intimidation can include threats, physical violence, damage to the family home/property and sexual violence. Some people try to repay these debts through cash payment or cash payment and involvement in illegal activity.
We understand that the experience of intimidation can be very frightening and can pose a serious risk to the individuals involved and their loved ones.
How can the Drug-Related Intimidation Programme help?
Through this programme you can work with both a Family Support Worker and a Garda to help you find the best approach for your situation.
A Family Support Worker can:
- Listen to your experience of intimidation.
- Support you to think through your decision in relation to payment,non-payment and/or seeking help from the Garda.
- Provide you with information on the Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme.
- Help you to arrange a meeting with the nominated Inspector for your area.
Support workers cannot advise you on what to do. You are the person best placed to make any decisions relating to this issue but workers can guide you to help make an informed decision that suits your situation.
Inspectors have been selected by the Garda Commissioner to respond to the issue of drug related intimidation. The nominated Inspector will always be at management level in the force, and will liaise directly with the Superintendent in relation to the case. Individuals experiencing intimidation can make contact with the Inspector for their area for an informal / formal meeting.
Meeting with Gardaí will:
- Provide practical safety information.
- Provide advice in relation to particular threats or instances of intimidation.
- Provide information on appropriate drug support services for the individual in the family who is accruing drug debts.
- Outline how to make a formal complaint, what is involved, what happens after and possible outcome.
It is the decision of the person being intimidated ifthey want to make a formal complaint. If you wish to meet with the Inspector, although are apprehensive to meet in the Garda station, or to meet with an Inspector in uniform, you may request to meet the Inspector in a neutral venue with the Inspector in plain clothes.
For more information, download the Drug-Related Intimidation Programme Leaflet here
How can I make contact with the nominated Inspector for my area?
Download the list of nominated Inspectors here
For more information, contact the National Family Support Network.