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Pike, Brigid (2007) In brief. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 23, Autumn 2007, p. 25.

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On 18 April 2007 the European Commission (Anti-Drugs Policy Coordination Unit in the DG for Justice, Freedom and Security) published its report on the results of the open consultation on the Green Paper on the role of civil society in drugs policy in the EU.1 The Commission has invited civil society organisations (CSOs) to apply for membership of a Forum that will serve as a platform for informal exchanges of views and information between the Commission and CSOs on drugs policy. The first meeting of the Forum will be held before the end of 2007. The future of this initiative is conditional on the adoption by the EU of the ‘Drugs Prevention and Information Programme 2007–2013’. www.ec.europa.eu 

In April 2007 a report Addressing issues of social exclusion in Moyross and other disadvantaged areas of Limerick City was delivered to the Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion. In respect of drugs and other problems, author John Fitzgerald stated that co-ordination of services was not enough and there needed to be ‘special dedicated teams’ to provide ‘full service integration’. He also recommended that ‘a local focus’ for drug-related interventions should be immediately established for Limerick City and it should work closely with the development agencies to identify appropriate interventions. www.limerickcity.ie 

On 9 May 2007 a BA in Applied Addiction Studies, the first Irish undergraduate degree in addiction studies, was launched. It was developed by the Addiction Training Institute in partnership with Athlone Institute of Technology. www.addiction.ie 

Between 13 and 17 May 2007 the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) held its 18th annual conference in Poland. The theme of the conference was ‘Harm Reduction: Coming of Age’. It included around 90 sessions covering illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex work, HIV/AIDS, young people, and prisons. www.ihra.net

In May 2007 a Hepatitis Group was established by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to make recommendations on an action plan for hepatitis C in Ireland. Comprising 20 people, the Group will report on priority actions in relation to hepatitis C. It is looking at hepatitis C from the perspective of surveillance, treatment and prevention. The Group may be contacted via joebarry@tcd.ie 

On 12–13 June 2007 the first Annual progress review on the implementation of the EU Drugs Action Plan 2005–2008 (doc. 17101/06 CORDROGUE 118) was adopted at a meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of Europe. www.europa.eu 

On 18 June 2007 the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) in Northern Ireland published its annual report for 2006. It reported that over £22 million worth of drugs had been seized. It anticipated that illicit drugs will continue to pose a serious threat in 2007/8. www.octf.gov.uk 

On 26 June 2007, International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched an anti-drugs campaign with the slogan ‘Do drugs control your life? Your life. Your community. No place for drugs.’ The slogan will be used for three years, focusing on drug abuse in 2007, drug cultivation and production in 2008, and illicit drug trafficking in 2009. The aim is to inspire and mobilise people to support drug control. www.unodc.org 

In June 2007 Removing the boundaries: a profile of drug prevalence in North County Dublin was published by North Dublin City and County Regional Drugs Task Force. The study finds that problem drug use in North County Dublin is more hidden than in Dublin Inner City. It suggests this may be because of the rural nature of much of North County Dublin, with small close-knit communities, where individuals might feel more stigmatised than in the city if they were to declare their problem. In addition, opportunities for local treatment are lacking, other than in Swords/Donabate; service users from other areas must travel daily to the city to obtain treatment and/or to fill prescriptions. www.ndublinrdtf.ie  

On 29 June 2007 the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)and the EMCDDA signed a co-operation agreement to tackle drug-related infectious diseases and to contribute to the broader EU effort to prevent and control communicable diseases. Areas of mutual interest will be identified by the agencies and implemented through projects relating specifically to epidemiology and disease prevention and control.  www.emcdda.eu 

On 1–3 July 2007 the first world conference on medication-assisted treatment of opiate addiction, together with the inaugural meeting of the World Federation for the Associations for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (WFATOD), was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  www.seea.net 

 On 12 July 2007 Barnardos’ Annual review 2006: no child gets left behind was launched. It contains the following observation, ‘Oftentimes children are referred to Barnardos because they are missing school. When we meet with the family it becomes clear that school attendance is an outward symptom of what’s happening at home. There may be issues such as alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, separation and loss. … When you work with the whole family, you can make changes in the home and have a major impact on a child’s life.’ www.barnardos.ie 

In July 2007 a consultation paper Drugs: Our Community, Your Say was launched in the UK. It marks the preliminary stage in developing the next national drugs strategy for the UK. The current strategy expires in 2008. www.homeoffice.gov.uk 

1.  For an overview of the Green Paper and of the broader debate on the role of civil society in policy development at EU and UN level, see Pike B (2006) Civil society to have a role in EU drugs policy. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 19: 19–20. 

Item Type
Article
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 23, Autumn 2007
Date
July 2007
Page Range
p. 25
Publisher
Health Research Board
Volume
Issue 23, Autumn 2007
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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