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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 42 - National Drugs Strategy [46043/10].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 42 - National Drugs Strategy [46043/10]. (14 Dec 2010)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...


42. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 141, 143 and 144 of 24 Samhain 2010, his views regarding the data supplied by the Health Research Board showing the high level of drug use here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey): As indicated in my previous reply, the data to which the Deputy refers is primarily drawn from the 2010 annual report of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), with the Health Research Board being the national agency through which the Irish input is channelled.
 
For the reasons outlined, I again stress the need for caution when using data to derive cross-European comparisons. Also, the Irish input on heroin is based on a study published by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) in December 2009. As indicated at the time, due to a number of technical factors associated with the capture/recapture methodology used, the figures were regarded as an overestimate of the opiate-using population here. The NACD are currently undertaking research aimed at identifying an appropriate estimate model for use in Ireland, taking the data sources available into consideration.
 
I accept that heroin use remains a major problem in our country. All the indications are that, while the use of heroin is relatively stable in the Dublin region, it has become more widely dispersed around the country, particularly in the major cities and in towns across Leinster. The data under reference also emphasises the welcome increase in the number of people who are in receipt of treatment to deal with their drugs problems. As I pointed out previously, new opiate substitution services have opened this year in Cork, Tralee and Wexford, and these will be followed shortly by facilities in Kilkenny, Waterford, Limerick, Dundalk and Drogheda. Expansions of needle exchange services, detoxification facilities and rehabilitation services are also being implemented.
 
While the Drugs Prevalence Survey 2006/07 showed an increase in cocaine use, the data is being updated at present with fieldwork for the Drugs Prevalence Survey 2010/11 being undertaken. The initial outcomes from that survey will come to hand towards the end of next year. Ireland ranks in the mid-range among the EU countries for cannabis use, while the use of ecstasy is considered to be at a low level.
 
I am confident that the steps being taken across the supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research pillars of the National Drugs Strategy will continue to impact significantly on problem drug use in Ireland.
 
Written Answers - National Drugs Strategy
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Vol. 725 No. 1
Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Irish-related
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Policy
Date
14 December 2010
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