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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Priority questions 45 – National drug strategy [28087/19].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Priority questions 45 – National drug strategy [28087/19]. (02 Jul 2019)

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45. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health if he will consider implementing a national multi-annual education and awareness campaign on drugs in view of the recent report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28087/19]


The Minister of State will be aware that illicit drug use and prevalence is on the increase. It is obvious if one looks at the reports of illegal drug dealing on our streets and, more importantly, if one acknowledges the increased seizures the Garda is making, particularly, as the economy recovers, around the area of cocaine. In light of increased drug prevalence, my question is whether the Government will consider developing and implementing a national multi-annual education and awareness drugs campaign.


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): The European drug report presents an overview of the drug situation in Europe, covering drug supply, use and public health problems, as well as drug policy and responses. The drug problem across Europe is of great concern, with the growing problem of cocaine use a particular worry.


The national drugs strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery, is our whole-of-Government, multi-annual response to drug and alcohol use. It commits to dealing with substance use as a public health issue. A specific objective of the strategy is to prevent the use of drugs and alcohol at a young age. Evidence suggests that comprehensive school-based programmes that combine social and personal development and provide information about substance use are more likely to be effective. This is a key component of the new Department of Education and Skills well-being policy statement and framework for practice, which is being implemented on an ongoing basis. In addition, the Department of Education and Skills and the HSE are in the final stages of developing an educational prevention programme for schools on drugs and alcohol for the junior cycle and the senior cycle called Know the Score. Again, this will be available on an ongoing basis.


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