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[irishhealth.com] Overdose prevention strategy needed. (15 Dec 2015)

External website: http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=25117

Drug overdose remains a major public health issue in Ireland and a National Overdose Prevention Strategy is needed to deal with this complex problem, the Ana Liffey Drug Project has said.

According to the latest figures available from the Health Research Board (HRB), 387 people died as a result of overdoses in 2013 and every death by overdose ‘is one family's devastating tragedy'.

"Sadly, overdose continues to be an issue in Ireland, with far more people dying by overdose than are dying on our roads every year. In the five-year period 2009 to 2013, over 1,500 people have died by overdose across Ireland. We must implement policies that will help reduce the number of deaths each year," commented the project's director, Tony Duffin.

He acknowledged that ‘innovative policies' are in the process of being introduced. For example, last month, the Minister of State with responsibility for the Government's Drug Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, said that he had asked officials in his department to examine proposals for the provision of medically supervised injecting centres for drug users.

Mr Duffin pointed out that nobody has ever died of an overdose in such a centre.

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