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Pike, Brigid (2007) In brief. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 21, spring 2007, p. 27.

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On 2–4 November 2006 the European Forum for Urban Safety, a network of more than 300 European local authorities, hosted an international conference entitled ‘Safety, Democracy and Cities’. The conference was seeking to develop a European model of security. Among the workshops held in the course of the conference was one on drugs. The conference adopted a policy document, the Zaragoza Manifesto.

On 6–7 November 2006 the European Parliament hosted a gathering of local, regional and national authorities, as well as civil society organisations from Europe and beyond, who presented on existing and future alternatives in European drug policy, and explored the role of Europe in the process towards the UN summit in 2008.The conference was organised by ENCOD, European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies. www.encod.org

On 15 November 2006 Coolmine Therapeutic Community launched its strategic plan A pioneering record: A dynamic future 2006–2008. Committed to drug-free or abstinence-based outcomes for its clients, Coolmine acknowledges that over the past 30-odd years drug treatment policy in Ireland ‘has shifted gradually towards a “harm-reduction” philosophy’. In his foreword, the Chairperson writes, ‘We now have a greater consciousness of our unique and vital role as colleagues to providers who use different approaches to tackling the same issues. Emerging best practice models and environmental changes mean that a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate or effective for Ireland today.’  www.coolminetc.ie

On 22 November 2006 the Special Residential Services Board (SRSB) hosted its annual ‘network event’. The purpose of the network events is to explore areas of best practice and discuss topical issues that are related to young people within the child care and educational systems in Ireland today. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Working with Young People Who Will Not Engage’.

In November 2006 the Children’s Research Centre published a research study, Free time and leisure needs of young people living in disadvantaged communities, by Tina Byrne, Elizabeth Nixon, Paula Mayock and Jean Whyte. It is a study into the free time and leisure needs of young people (aged 12 to 18 years) living in four areas in Ireland designated as disadvantaged under the Government's RAPID Programme.  Among the findings of the research, in respect of social environment, the researchers reported that, ‘While describing a strong attachment to their communities, the young people were very aware of their negative characteristics, including high levels of exposure to the use and sale of drugs. There was unanimous agreement among the young people that there are insufficient public and private leisure amenities available to them in their areas.’ www.tcd.ie/childrensresearchcentre

On 7 December 2006, under the auspices of the British–Irish Council (BIC), a Ministerial Meeting on the Misuse of Drugs was held in Belfast.   Chaired by Noel Ahern TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, the meeting focused on the challenges presented by cocaine use.  Ministers found that similar issues arose in relation to cocaine in each administration but that the problem was at various stages of development in the different jurisdictions. www.british-irishcouncil.org

On 7 December 2006 the Drug Treatment Centre Board (DTCB) held its inaugural conference on adolescent addiction, Treatment of adolescent addiction – A national problem.The aim of the conference was to equip professionals working with adolescent substance misusers with knowledge and skills that will assist in the delivery of appropriate services. www.addictionireland.ie

 On 14 December 2006 the Blood Borne Virus Forum (BBVF) made a presentation to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children. A voluntary group established in Ireland in 2001 and comprising representatives of statutory, voluntary and community agencies, the BBVF called for ‘equivalence of care for all people affected by hepatitis C no matter how they picked it up’ and called on the Oireachtas Committee ‘to consider calling for a comprehensive national policy so that we can examine service development for everybody. We would appreciate if an appropriate budget were allocated to support service development. We seek the release of the regional hepatitis C strategy, which is under review again, and we would like it to be made national.’ www.oireachtas.ie

 In December 2006 Eurobarometer 66: Public opinion in the European Union – First results was published. Fieldwork was conducted in September–October 2006. More than a quarter (26%) of EU citizens surveyed agreed, and two-thirds (68%) disagreed, with the statement:  ‘Personal consumption of cannabis should be legalised throughout Europe’.  Young Europeans tended to be opposed to the legalisation of cannabis (57% of respondents aged 15 to 24 disagreed with the statement). However, opinions varied from country to country. In Finland (8%) and Sweden (9%) the idea was rejected outright, whereas in the Netherlands just under half of the respondents felt that cannabis should be legalised throughout Europe (49%). In Ireland the rate of agreement was above the EU average (30%). www.ec.europa.eu/public_opinion  

On 12 January 2007 the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) published its Progress report: August 2003–December 2005. It also released a series of research summary sheets covering the same period. 

In January 2007 the Garda policing plan 2007 was launched. The plan includes actions and performance targets in respect of drug trafficking, dealing and using; enforcing the law in relation to underage drinking and substance abuse in both public places and licensed premises; and increasing the number of detections for both drink and drug driving. www.garda.ie  



Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 21, spring 2007
January 2007
Page Range
p. 27
Health Research Board
Issue 21, spring 2007
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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