Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 634 & 749 - Substance misuse [13512/16] [Drug testing].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 634 & 749 - Substance misuse [13512/16] [Drug testing]. (31 May 2016)

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634. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the legal position of drug testing kits that would allow MDMA-ecstasy users to test drugs for their safety; if a person may be arrested for possession of these kits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13512/16]


749. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health if there have been developments regarding the proposal to allow users of drugs in venues such as clubs to have them tested for potentially lethal ingredients. [13539/16]


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne):  I propose to take Questions Nos. 634 and 749 together.


The current National Drugs Strategy will come to an end in 2016. A Steering Committee, chaired by John Carr, former secretary general of the INTO, has been established to oversee the process of developing a new Strategy to cover the period from 2017 onwards.


The development of the new Strategy will involve an examination of the approach to drug policy in other jurisdictions. It will also include a review of international evidence on interventions to tackle the drug problem, including harm reduction options such as medically supervised injecting rooms, drug testing kits and opioid substitution treatment. This review will provide us with evidence on the effectiveness of such interventions.


In addition, a comprehensive and wide ranging consultation process is planned, which will give key stakeholders and the public an opportunity to give their views on the current national drugs policy and future priorities. I am expecting the final report of the Steering Committee by the end of December 2016.


  Question No. 635 answered with Question No. 628.

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