Home > 637. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the interaction she has had with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, or the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, to address the problem of homeless rough sleepers in Dublin who are injecting bath salts acquired from head shops; [35685/09]

[Oireachtas] 637. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the interaction she has had with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, or the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, to address the problem of homeless rough sleepers in Dublin who are injecting bath salts acquired from head shops; [35685/09]. (03 Nov 2009)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2009/11/03/00395...


 637.  Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children  the interaction she has had with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, or the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, to address the problem of homeless rough sleepers in Dublin who are injecting bath salts acquired from head shops; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35685/09]

Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney):  The Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 and regulations made thereunder regulate and control the import, export, production, supply and possession of a range of named narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances listed in the Schedules to the Act. Substances are scheduled under the Act in accordance with Ireland’s obligations under international conventions and/or where there is evidence that the substances are causing significant harm to public health in Ireland.

Items available for sale in so-called ‘head shops’ such as “Snow” (the substance referred to by the Deputy) are currently not scheduled under Misuse of Drugs legislation. The list of scheduled substances is kept under ongoing review. For example, in 2006 psychotropic (‘magic’) mushrooms, which were on sale in such outlets, were banned and their possession and sale is now illegal. On 31 March 2009, BZP was similarly subjected to legislative control measures and criminal sanctions.

My colleague Minister John Curran, Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, who has responsibility for co-ordinating the National Drugs Strategy, has identified head shops as an area of concern, and is currently considering the options available to more effectively control the activities of head shops. Officials of my Department are in contact with their counterparts in the Office of the Minister for Drugs in this matter.

While officials of my Department are in regular contact with their counterparts in the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in regard to homelessness and with their counterparts in the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in regard to a range of issues related to drugs misuse, there has been no contact on the specific issue raised by the Deputy as the provision of services for drug misusers (whether homeless or not) is a matter for the HSE. The HSE has been asked to respond directly to the Deputy in regard to this aspect of his question.

 

Vol. 692 No. 4

Homeless Persons

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:3 November 2009
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > New (novel) psychoactive substances
L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context > Context encouraging substance use
MA-ML Social science, culture and community > Social condition > Homelessness
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
L Social psychology and related concepts > Legal availability or accessibility

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