Home > People can become addicted to alcohol for less than €10 per week, Health Committee is told.

[Oireachtas] People can become addicted to alcohol for less than €10 per week, Health Committee is told. (23 Sep 2011)

Low cost selling of alcohol, misuse of some prescription drugs and the availability and supply of illegal drugs are impacting on the lives of people, in particular young people, the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children heard today when it discussed the issue of drug abuse and illegal drug use with Minister of State, Roisin Shortall, TD and the National Advisory Committee on Drugs.

The Minister outlined for the Committee the objectives of the National Drugs Strategy 2009 to 2016 through the five pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research. The treatment and rehabilitation of drug users so that they can achieve a life without drugs is a priority.

Following the meeting, Jerry Buttimer, TD, Chairman of the Committee on Health and Children said: “I welcome the Minister’s commitment to examine ways of working with the members of the Committee in the formulation and evolution of policy in this area. Members of the Committee know at first hand of the problems for society caused by drug abuse and illegal drugs.

The low cost selling of alcohol and the explosion of outlets where alcohol can be purchased continues to cause problems for the health and welfare of our people, especially our young people. It is heartening that the Garda and Custom Service continue to strive to reduce the supply of drugs into Ireland and production of drugs within the country.

Some cannabis grow houses have been uncovered and this is welcome, but the development of these grow houses causes concern as the cannabis now available is of a much stronger nature than what was grown before. The activity of headshops in Ireland has been drastically reduced and the number of headshops has dropped from 102 to 12. I welcome that the Minister has asked the HSE to carry out an examination of the prescribing patterns of some prescription drugs. This statistical evidence will provide rich data in relation to patterns of figures that are out of line with national norms.”

Today’s meeting was the last in a series that the Committee has had with the various stakeholders and interested bodies. The Committee will now commence the drafting of its report into the problems caused by illegal drug use and drug abuse in Ireland.

For further information please contact:
Cáit Hayes,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
Communications Unit,Leinster House,Dublin 2

P: +3531 618 3883
M: 087-9190300
F: +3531 618 4551

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