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Home > Seanad Eireann debate. Illegal drugs: motion

[Oireachtas] Seanad Eireann debate. Illegal drugs: motion. (13 Nov 2019)


Senator Keith Swanick:

I move:

“That Seanad Éireann:

notes that:

- individuals, families and communities throughout the country have been devastated by illegal drugs;

- drug-related harm consistently clusters in communities marked by poverty and social inequality;

- drug-related deaths in Ireland are at the highest figure ever, increasing from 431 in 2004 to 736 in 2016;

- new drugs appear regularly on the illicit market while familiar drugs such as cannabis are becoming more potent;

- too many people are living daily with the nightmare of drug-related intimidation and violence;


further notes:

- the significant increase in drugs offences recorded by an Garda Síochána;

- the increase in the value of drug seizures from €29,706,281 in 2016 to €71,859,695 in 2017;

- not all drug users are addicts and there has been a significant rise in casual and occasional drug use;

- a changing pattern of drug use during the recent economic recovery;

- the latest drug treatment figures from the Health Research Board show a 50% increase in the number of cases presenting for cocaine treatment between 2017 and 2018;

- in 2018, a total of 10,274 cases were treated for problem drug use;

- the number of new entrants to treatment increased from 3,272 in 2012 to 3,962 in 2018;

- Ireland is one of six European countries where crack cocaine abuse has increased in the past five years;

- every cent spent on illegal drugs funds organised crime;

- the reduction in the number of Gardaí assigned to drug units;



- the importance of a public health approach to drug and alcohol misuse is paramount;

- there is widespread concern that the partnership approach, which has been at the heart of drugs strategies since 1996, is now in danger of collapse;

- community participation and interagency working is crucial to an effective response to an increasingly complex and challenging drugs problem;

- there is apprehension and frustration at the failure of Government to meet commitments on community involvement;

- investment in drugs task forces has stagnated in recent years with an increase of 1.7 per cent since 2015 compared to 28 per cent in overall health expenditure;

- there is a need for comprehensive services in prevention, detoxification treatment and rehabilitation;


and calls for:

- the Government to act as a matter of urgency to restore confidence in the National Drugs Strategy;

- An Taoiseach to appoint representation at a senior level from his own Department to the National Oversight Committee of the National Drugs Strategy;

- an increase in the level of funding for drugs task forces and treatment services;

- action to be taken against open drug dealing on city streets;

- the strengthening of criminal law against the use of children in drug trafficking;

- increased investment in the Juvenile Diversion Programme; and

- a major education and information campaign to be undertaken on casual drug use.”


 [For the full debate, click this link]

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Crime prevention, Policy
13 November 2019

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