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Home > 105. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the discussions he has had with the national drugs strategy team in regard to the potential danger of the rapid spread of the use of crack cocaine. [4505/06]

[Oireachtas] 105. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the discussions he has had with the national drugs strategy team in regard to the potential danger of the rapid spread of the use of crack cocaine. [4505/06]. (08 Feb 2006)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2006/02/08/00009...


Mr. N. Ahern: I assure the Deputy that I am in ongoing contact with the national drugs strategy team regarding various aspects of the national drugs strategy. I am monitoring the situation with regard to the misuse of drugs, including crack cocaine. No specific studies on the use of crack cocaine in this State have been carried out. The available figures come from the joint national advisory committee on drugs and the drug and alcohol information and research unit - Northern Ireland - drug prevalence survey. The survey showed that the use of crack cocaine was very low at that time - 0.3% reported lifetime use and 0.1% reported use in the past 12 months. It is intended that a new drug prevalence study will be carried out from perhaps this autumn to 2007. Each of the drugs task forces has an action plan in place to tackle drug use in their area based on their own identified priorities and they continue to have ongoing contact with their local communities. These projects deal with supply reduction, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for a range of drugs, including crack cocaine. We must be aware that most drug users engage in poly-drug use and, therefore, projects generally aim to address this pattern of usage rather than concentrating on one drug to the exclusion of others. I recently met senior members of the Garda Síochána involved in the drugs area. The feedback from them and other sources indicates that crack cocaine is not being used extensively in Ireland but is confined to small areas of the population. However, I fully accept that a potential danger exists that the use of crack cocaine could spread rapidly and I assure the Deputy that I will continue to monitor the situation and will ensure any necessary steps are taken to address increased threats.

Vol. 614 No. 3
Priority Questions
Wednesday, 8 February 2006

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