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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 622 - National drugs strategy implementation [22266/16].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 622 - National drugs strategy implementation [22266/16]. (19 Jul 2016)

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622. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health his plans to continue the implementation of the previous Government’s strategy on supervised injection centres; and if so, the timeline for the introduction of these services [22266/16]


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): The Government is committed to supporting a health-led rather than criminal justice approach to drugs use including legislating for supervised injecting facilities.


Drafting of a Bill to provide enabling measures for the licensing of such facilities is at an advanced stage. The Bill and the subsequent Ministerial regulations made thereunder, will allow for the licensing, provision and operation of supervised injecting facilities under specific circumstances, whilst protecting the public health and ensuring that the prohibition on possession and supply of illicit drugs outside of such facilities is adequately maintained. I intend to publish this Bill in the autumn and it is hoped that the legislation would be enacted by the end of 2016. Regulations will be required in relation to the operation of the facility and other matters necessary for the proper functioning and security of a supervised injecting facility. These regulations should be drafted by early Q2 2017.


It is envisaged that initially one supervised injecting facility would be established on a pilot basis in Dublin city centre. An independent evaluation would be an intrinsic element to this initiative, determining the utility, safety and cost-effectiveness of the supervised injecting facility in an Irish context. The outcome of such an evaluation will inform any decision to licence further facilities. In line with the experience of other countries which have established such facilities, it would be expected that the numbers would be few and the locations carefully selected to address most effectively the requirements and concerns of the service users and the wider community.

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