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Home > 20. Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs his views on the world drug report 2010.

[Oireachtas] 20. Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs his views on the world drug report 2010. (01 Jul 2010)

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Drugs report

20. Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs his views on the world drug report 2010 which was recently published by the UN office on drugs and crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28803/10]
Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey): I am aware of the 2010 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which was published on 23rd June 2010.
In compiling this report, the UNODC relies on Member States providing data primarily through the Annual Reports Questionnaire (ARQ). In the case of Ireland, the Statistical Returns on Drug Control Progress, including the Annual Reports Questionnaire, are compiled by the Department of Health and Children. Accordingly, the report of the UNODC does not contain any surprises in relation the figures for prevalence here.
In relation to cocaine, the Report’s findings reflect the outcome of the All-Island Drug Prevalence Survey 2006/07, which provides the best estimate of the drug prevalence in this country. One of the findings of the 2006/07 survey was the emergence of cocaine as a threat, particularly among younger adults.
The Report gives an overview of the changes in the world drug markets and indicates that:
— drug use worldwide is shifting towards new drugs and new markets;
— there are signs of an increase in drug use in developing countries;
— there are signs of a growing abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants and prescription drugs around the world;
— the world’s supply of the two main problem drugs — opiates and cocaine — continues to decline;
— cocaine use in Western Europe appears to be concentrated in a few countries, notably in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland and Denmark, where high cocaine prevalence rates are observed;
— in 2008, only around one fifth of problem drug users worldwide had received treatment in the previous year;
— cannabis use is declining in some of its highest value markets, namely North America and parts of Europe;
— the number of clandestine laboratories involved in the manufacture of amphetaminetype stimulants is reported to have increased by 20 per cent in 2008, including in countries where such laboratories had never been detected before;
— manufacture of ecstasy has increased in North America (notably in Canada) and in several parts of Asia, and use seems to be increasing in Asia; and
— ecstasy use in Europe has plummeted since 2006.
Many of these points are broadly in line with our experiences in Ireland. Accordingly, the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 has an appropriate balance between supply reduction and demand reduction measures. In the area of supply reduction, the focus is on reducing the volume of illicit drugs reaching Ireland and the disruption of the activities of organised criminal networks. In regard to demand reduction, there will be a significant emphasis on prevention measures, with some such measures focusing on the broad population, while others will target specific groups that are deemed to be most at risk. I am sure the Deputy will agree that we must endeavour to equip young people, in particular, with the skills and knowledge necessary to make informed choices about their health and future that will include a rejection of drug use. There will also be a major focus on developing a national integrated treatment and rehabilitation service to aid those already involved with drugs. The difficulties facing our society as a consequence of problem drug use are significant, and addressing all the factors involved will not be easy. However, I am determined that real progress will be made across the period of the Drugs Strategy, with all sectors working in a coordinated and targeted way, to achieve the implementation of the agreed actions.
Vol. 714 No. 2 
Written Answers - Drugs Report
Thursday, 1 July 2010

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