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Pike, Brigid (2006) In brief. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 20, Winter 2006, p. 29.

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On 24 August 2006 the Fourth Annual Report of the Inspector of Prisons and

Places of Detention for the Year 2004–2005was published. It states that, ‘One of the greatest problems in prisons is the drug culture’ and ‘there should be no drugs in prisons’. To this end, it recommends that ‘sniffer dogs be used to deal with all persons (not merely visitors) entering the prison’. www.justice.ie 

On 1 September 2006 the Report of the Commission of Investigation (Dean Lyons Case) was released. It concludes that there was no deliberate attempt to undermine the rights of Dean Lyons. Instead, the report concludes that ‘inappropriate leading questions were inadvertently asked by interviewing Gardaí’. A copy of the report has been sent to the expert group set up in light of concerns arising from the case. It will report to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on the adequacy of Garda training, protocols, regulations and procedures in assessing the fitness of persons to be interviewed. www.justice.ie

On 6–7 September 2006 an EU Conference on partnerships between stakeholders at frontline level responding to drug problems was hosted by the Finnish EU Presidency. The conference highlighted the need for co-operation between police and social and health authorities in efforts to reduce the harm caused by drugs. A main objective identified at the conference was the need to align the goals of different organisations through training, setting targets and performance indicators. The conference agreed to the creation of a co-operation network of authorities for the prevention of drug problems and to ensure the treatment of users. The Council of Europe’s Pompidou Group is expected to facilitate the creation of this network. www.stm.fi/Resource.phx/eng/subjt/inter/eu2006/drugs/drugs1.htx

In September 2006 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) considered Ireland’s second periodic report, submitted under Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/IRL/CO/2). Among its Concluding Observations, the Committee recommends that Ireland strengthen its efforts to address alcohol consumption by children. It also expresses concern about the apparent link between underage substance abuse and the suicide rate. www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/

In September 2006 the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) published its first annual report, for 2005. In relation to alcohol and substance abuse, the report states that, ‘Issues around the risk of alcohol and substance abuseare routinely incorporated into awareness training deliveredby the HSE Resource Officers for SuicidePrevention.’ www.nosp.ie

On 1 October 2006, World Hepatitis Awareness Day, the Central and Eastern European Harm Reduction Network (CEEHRN) released a fact sheet entitled Hepatitis C among drug users in the new EU member states and neighbourhood. The eight-page document contains recommendations for action by different groups, including policy-makers, intergovernmental and international agencies, health care authorities, low-threshold and other health service providers, pre-trial detention and imprisonment institutions, and researchers. www.ceehrn.org/hepatitis

On 5–7 October 2006 the9th Annual European Conference on Drugs and Infection Prevention in Prisons was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Organised by the European Network on Drugs and Infection Prevention in Prison (ENDIPP), this conference focused on ‘bridging the gap’ – analysing the barriers to providing an equivalence of care inside prisons to that which is available outside.

On 9 October 2006 A Cross-Border Organised Crime Assessment 2006 was released. Based on intelligence and information provided by state agencies on both sides of the border (including police, customs, asset recovery), the report looks at criminal gangs on both sides of the border, the impact of the border on criminal activity, and the costs of organised crime. It states that the border has little or no effect on the distribution of illicit drugs. While there are differences in the extent of the drugs markets north and south of the border, there remain strong cross-border links with networks of traffickers from both sides of the border working in co-operation to import and distribute drugs. www.justice.ie

On 24 October 2006 the European Commission adopted a Communication setting out an EU strategy to support member states in reducing alcohol-related harm (COM/2006/0625 final). The priorities identified in the Communication are to: protect young people and children; reduce injuries and deaths from alcohol-related road accidents; prevent harm among adults and reduce the negative impact on the economy; raise awareness of the impact on health of harmful alcohol consumption; and help gather reliable statistics. www.europa.eu/health/  

On 26–28 October 2006 Correlation, the European Network for Social Inclusion and Health, hosted a seminar in Dublin Castle on Impacting policy - making voices heard. Working in subgroups and providing skill-building through workshops, the seminar attempted to facilitate exchange of expertise from service users and professionals to policy makers and vice versa. A limited number of 50-70 participants were carefully selected so as to give representatives from all 25 EU member states and all professional backgrounds the chance to join in. Best practice examples were selected from integrative work for the marginalised in three fields, including work in relation to drug users. www.correlation-net.org

On 27 October 2006 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the reported crime statistics, including drug-related crime, for the 3rd quarter of 2006.This publication marked the formal transfer of responsibility for the published results from An Garda Síochána to the CSO. The CSO has established an Advisory Group to review the current methodologies for the analysis and presentation of the data, with a view to being able to ‘better align crime statistics with public and specialist user needs’. www.cso.ie

On 5 December 2006 Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone combined) was the subject of a parliamentary reply by Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD. She stated: ‘Suboxone has recently been granted an EU license [sic] via central procedure by the EMEA, and preliminary studies have shown that the combination drug is as effective as Subutex (buprenorphine alone) in the management of opioid dependence and that it has less abuse potential. My Department is considering the implications of the introduction of the combination drug Suboxone and its use as a possible treatment for opiate dependency. In that context, my officials will be meeting the license holders, Schering- Plough in the coming week to discuss the best approach on its probable Irish launch in early 2007.’ www.oireachtas.ie


Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 20, Winter 2006
October 2006
Page Range
p. 29
Health Research Board
Issue 20, Winter 2006
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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