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Pike, Brigid (2007) In brief. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 22, Summer 2007, p. 29.

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On 8 February 2007 benzylpiperazine (BZP) was the subject of a written answer in Dáil Éireann from the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD: ‘A risk assessment is being carried out at EU level on BZP. This engages the relevant experts across the EU to assess the possible health and social risks/consequences of the identified substance and the implications of placing it under control. The results of the risk assessment will be presented to the Council, the European Medicines Agency and the Commission for a decision on whether BZP should be subjected to control measures. Control measures and penalties are decided according to national laws which in turn comply with UN conventions.’ www.oireachtas.ie 

On 7 March 2007 the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) published its Childline Annual Call Statistics for 2006. Among its telephone calls, 1,993 (1.55%) were in regard to child substance use and abuse. Among contacts via the website, three (1.42%) were about child substance use and abuse.  www.ispcc.ie 

On 15 March 2007 Ana Liffey Drug Project, Ireland's first harm reduction agency, celebrated its 25th anniversary, with a half-day conference. www.aldp.ie 

On 27 March 2007 the Joint Committee on Arts, Sports, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs released its 12th and 13th reports. Drug abuse in Ireland – a Waterford perspective finds that the majority of people seeking help for addiction in the Waterford constituency are using more than one drug, with alcohol and hash being by far the most popular cocktail for almost two thirds. A history of addiction in the family is overwhelmingly prevalent. The relationship between alcohol misuse and the drinks industry sponsorship of sporting activities explores the links between sponsorship of sports by alcohol companies and the risk to people, especially young people, through misuse of alcohol. The report attempts to assess the effectiveness of a ban on such sponsorship and explores the related issues. www.oireachtas.ie 

In March 2007 the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) released its 4th briefing paper, The European Union Drug Strategy: progress and problems. Despite progress, the briefing reports that current evaluation data suggest that drug use in Europe is only being contained at best and, despite several successes in reducing the harmful consequences, problems such as drug-related crime, drug-related deaths, and rates of hepatitis infection among drug injectors remain unacceptably high. The IDPC suggest ways in which the current EU strategy and actions could be strengthened. www.internationaldrugpolicy.net  

In March 2007 the RSACommission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy published a report on its two-year study of UK drug policy. It calls for a radical rethink of drugs policy, drawing it away from criminal justice and refocusing it on health and social support. Claiming that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is 'no longer fit for purpose', the Commission calls for a new Misuse of Substances Act, to include alcohol, tobacco, solvents, and over-the-counter and prescription drugs. http://www.thersa.org/

On 5 April 2007 Barnardos launched its Children’s Declaration – A million reasons to get it right. Among the key action points advanced in the Declaration is the following: ‘Given the strong connections between alcohol abuse and drug abuse, the National Alcohol Strategy and National Drugs Strategy should be reviewed with the view of identifying key areas where both strategies can be integrated to reinforce each other – both national plans are currently being administered separately.’ www.barnardos.ie 

On 16 April 2007 CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign launched a campaign in the run-up to the general election entitled ‘Drugs: a new deal’. www.citywide.ie

On 19 April 2007 the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) was launched along with its first report, An analysis of UK drug policy, by Peter Reuter and Alex Stevens. The UKDPC is an independent body set up to provide objective analysis of UK drug policy. The Commission aims to improve political, media and public understanding of drug policy issues and the options for achieving a rational and effective response to the problems caused by the supply of and demand for illegal drugs.

On 26 April 2007 Mental Health Awareness and Attitudes Survey January/February 2007 was launched. Suicide, alcoholism, depression and drug dependence are believed to be the most important mental health and related problems we need to tackle in Ireland.  www.nosp.ie 

On 27 April 2007 Merchants Quay Ireland hosted a pre-election debate on drugs issues in Ireland, entitled ‘Drugs: the politicians’ prescription’. www.mqi.ie 

In April 2007 the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) announced that its Methadone GP Co-ordinator, Dr Ide Delargy, is extending her services to GPs outside the former ERHA area. She will act as a resource for GPs already involved in prescribing methadone under the protocol, and will aim to increase the number of GPs participating in the protocol throughout the country. GPs can reach Dr Delargy on 01-230-2659 or 086-810-0803 or at iddelargy@eircom.net  www.icgp.ie

In April 2007 ENCOD (European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies) released its 2006 annual report. In 2007 ENCOD has set itself the challenge of obtaining a meaningful and transparent dialogue with authorities of the European Union; it reports that the European Commission has promised to initiate a dialogue process with civil society concerning drug policies in the second half of the year. Additionally, ENCOD will co-ordinate the preparation of the campaign for the UN meeting in March 2008 in Vienna. www.encod.org

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 22, Summer 2007
April 2007
Page Range
p. 29
Health Research Board
Issue 22, Summer 2007
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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