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Pike, Brigid (2009) In brief. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 30, Summer 2009, p. 25.

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In January 2009 the European Society for Social Drug Research (ESSD) launched its website. Founded in 1990 as an association of European social scientists working on drug issues, the ESSD's principal aim is to promote social science approaches to drug research, with special reference to the situation in Europe. The 2009 conference will be held in Belfast in September. www.essd-research.eu  

Between January and March 2009 the Employee Assistance Programmes Institute (EAPI) hosted three seminars in Waterford, Galway and Dublin, on complying with Section 13 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, relating to drugs and alcohol at work. The EAPI reports that the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has indicated that regulations on employee drug testing will not be introduced. Instead, the HSA will issue guidance after a period of consultation with interested parties. www.eapinstitute.com
On 2 February 2009 INTERPOL and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) signed a memorandum of understanding regarding co-operation in tackling the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport. The INTERPOL Secretary-General commented, 'While doping is often viewed as a crime committed by an individual, the reality is that when an athlete takes illegal performance-enhancing drugs, this is just one piece in a larger network of criminality.' www.interpol.com / www.wada-ama.org
 On 5 March 2009 the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2008 was introduced into Dáil Éireann for its second reading. Section 35 of the Bill requires each local housing authority to adopt a strategy for the prevention and reduction of anti-social behaviour in its housing stock. The Bill also amends the definition of anti-social behaviour in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1997, extending it to include damage to property, graffiti and significant impairment of the use or enjoyment of a person's home. www.oireachtas.ie 
 On 9 March 2009 the fifth Joint report on social protection and social inclusionwas jointly adopted by the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council and the European Commission. Regarding the impact of the economic recession on member states of the EU, the report stated, 'The most badly hit victims of the crisis will be those households where breadwinners are at a disadvantage in the labour market and in society. Hence the need for social safety nets which are tight enough to prevent people from falling through and effective enough to launch them back into active social and labour market participation.' http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/spsi/index_en.htm
 On 10 March 2009 the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) stated that, as well as banking, fiscal, economic and reputational crises, Ireland faces 'a social crisis of unemployment, income loss and indebtedness'. The Council argued that it was critical to protect those experiencing loss of employment, income, savings and pensions through holding a Jobs and Skills Summit. At this summit, the labour market authorities, and all bodies with a capacity to deliver high-quality, market-relevant training and education programmes, would identify and implement a set of measures that (1) re-order and re-fashion existing education, training and social welfare budgets to more effectively help workers losing their jobs and those seeking jobs for the first time during the recession, and  (2) create '21st-century' equivalents to the special labour market programmes introduced in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
On 12 March 2009Dublin City Business Improvement District (DBID) announced details of a new long-term partnership with the Ana Liffey Drug Project (ALDP). It will work with the ALDP in developing long-lasting solutions to reduce the problems for those directly affected by problematic substance misuse and homelessness and for the broader community in the city centre. www.aldp.ie
 In March 2009 the National Economic and Social Forum (NESF) published a report on the 5th Social Inclusion Forum (SIF), held in Dublin on 26 November 2008.  The SIF was established by Government to provide an opportunity for a wide range of voluntary groups and individuals at local level to present their views and experiences, ideas and proposals, on key policies and implementation issues relating to the National Anti-Poverty Strategy (NAPS). With regard to facilitating employment participation by those vulnerable to exclusion from the labour market, the Forum suggested: (1) address discrimination among employers and service providers towards disadvantaged groups; (2) ensure appropriate progression pathways are available; (3) focus measures and services on those who are most distant from the labour market; and (4) co-ordinate policies, organisations and incentives at the local and national level. www.nesf.ie
 On 9 April 2009 headshops were the subject of a Parliamentary Question. Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney TD responded that John Curran, Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, with  responsibility for co-ordinating the National Drugs Strategy, had identified headshops 'as an area of concern, and is currently considering the options available to more effectively control the activities of headshops'. www.oireachtas.ie
 On 17 April 2009 the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Bill 2009 was introduced in Dáil Éireann. One purpose of the Bill is to buttress the work of the Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces and the Revenue Commissioners in the prevention and detection of serious crime. The Bill ensures that any legal obstacles to the admissibility in criminal trials of material obtained by means of secret surveillance are removed in cases involving arrestable offences. www.oireachtas.ie
 Between 20 and 23 April 2009 the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) held its annual conference in Bangkok. The conference theme was 'harm reduction and human rights'. 
 On 21 April 2009 the Ana Liffey Drug Project's 'Duck Dive & Survive' initiative won a prize in the Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards 2009.  The initiative consists of two clearly-written leaflets promoting ALDP's peer support group and the outreach service. ALDP plans to use the €3,000 prize fund to establish a free text messaging service that will provide essential real-time information to service users. www.aldp.ie
 On 30 April 2009 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released Recorded Crime for Quarter 1 (Q1) 2009. The bulletin reported that the number of controlled drug offences increased by 5%, from 5,240 to 5,503, between Q1 of 2008 and Q1 of 2009. Possession of drugs for personal use offences rose from 3,893 to 4,286 over this period, an increase of 10.1%. www.cso.ie
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 30, Summer 2009
Page Range
p. 25
Health Research Board
Issue 30, Summer 2009
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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