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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Topical issue debate. Drug treatment programmes.

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Topical issue debate. Drug treatment programmes. (01 Dec 2015)

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Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan: Gabhaim mo bhuíochas leis an gCeann Comhairle go bhfuil seans againn an t-ábhar seo a phlé. We know that people get caught up in abusing and misusing drugs and alcohol and many will become addicted. While there is a wide range of reasons this happens, we can all agree that no one sets out to become an addict or an alcoholic. I would like to see everyone in recovery and very much support the work of the Recovery Academy, but the reality is that there are those who will stay in addiction. We need a wide range of options and services to enable and support stability and recovery. We also need to do more in terms of prevention and education but that is another day's work.


At the request of the Ana Liffey Drug Project, I hosted a meeting in the AV room in Leinster House on having a medically supervised injecting centre. It was difficult to look at someone injecting him or herself but there was no doubt it was done in a clean and safe environment. People who work in these kinds of centres told me they saw a reduction in the use of heroin, the safe disposal of drug paraphernalia, a reduction in the incidence of overdoses and other health issues being addressed. The film showed an older cohort of established drug user. I wonder about the injecting drug users we see shooting up on the streets and their chaotic lives. Will they be able to get to a centre to avail of these services?


I agree that this is a medical as well as a health issue and that medical supervision is required. These centres have been recommended as far back as 2005. The questions relate to the timeframe, because we are under pressure. We must ensure the injecting centre does not come out of the current addiction services budget, which has been pretty much decimated. Location is another issue. I know everyone will say, "Not in my back yard", but there are areas that have an abundance of services allied with private rental accommodation meaning anti-social behaviour and criminality occurs. A mobile unit was suggested and the Ana Liffey Drug Project has also made a suggestion. I acknowledge the role of the Minister of State, Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, and his availability to task forces, projects and those working in addiction and the launching of reports……..


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