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Home > Misuse of Drugs (supervised injecting facilities) Bill 2017: Second Stage (Continued).

[Oireachtas] Misuse of Drugs (supervised injecting facilities) Bill 2017: Second Stage (Continued). (23 Feb 2017)

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Deputy Jack Chambers: As my party's spokesperson on the national drugs strategy, I am pleased to contribute to the debate on the Bill. I and my party are always open to considering new and innovative ways to tackle drug abuse and help those who suffer with drug addiction. The nature of, and problems associated with, drug-taking are very different today from what was happening over 30 years ago so, as legislators, we have a responsibility to respond and to be open to new and more nuanced approaches as required. Fianna Fáil supports this Bill as we are of the view it will help to reduce the incidence of drug-related deaths. We believe a supervised injecting centre in Dublin should be introduced on a pilot basis, as provided for in the legislation. There should be regular reviews to measure the success of the centre. Input from stakeholders, the Garda and local groups will be important in this regard. How this policy is implemented will be crucial to its success or failure.


I am equally of the view that the introduction of such facilities will not solve or end the scourge of problem drug taking in Ireland. A supervised injecting centre should be viewed as just a part of a range of measures and services to address this problem. It more important that the Government acts to fund and deliver more detoxification centres, more support services for those who want to tackle their addiction, more emphasis on education and prevention and more focus on treatment and rehabilitation. It is disappointing that the programme for Government formally proposes few other measures. This centre is one of the positive measures proposed in the programme but we must outline further measures that could positively assist in addressing many of the issues with drug abuse in Ireland. The national drug strategy is due to be published later this year and I hope the Minister takes on board the submissions made by my party, other parties in the House and the many interest groups to prioritise these measures.

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