Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Question 1506 - Health promotion [37212/23].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Question 1506 - Health promotion [37212/23]. (11 Sep 2023)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2023...

  1. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Health whether consideration can be given to running a public information campaign warning persons about the consequences and dangers of illegal drugs and the impact they have on mental and physical health; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37212/23]


Minister of State at the Department of Health Hildegarde Naughton: The National Drugs Strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery, provides a comprehensive health-led approach to drug use. By treating the use of substances as a public health issue, rather than solely as a criminal issue, we can better help individuals, their families and the communities in which we live. The Programme for Government endorses this health-led approach.


The Department of Health and the HSE raise awareness of the dangers associated with drugs as follows:


- In response to an increase in the use of cocaine powder and crack, the HSE developed a information campaign in partnership with the Ana Liffey Drug Project. The campaign was developed to raise awareness about the dangers of using cocaine (powder and crack), and how to reduce the harms associated with snorting, smoking or injecting. Cocaine Reduce the Harms - Drug and Alcohol Information and Support in Ireland - Drugs.ie.


- In May 2022, the HSE launched the Safer Nightlife Programme for Festival Settings 2022 programme. This multi-component programme for festivals involved a media campaign, the development of resources (leaflets, posters, and merchandise), and the recruitment and training of volunteers and outreach at a number of festivals over the summer months. The aims of this festival programme included engaging with festival attendees in a non-judgmental way on the topic of substance use and related issues such as mental health, as well as providing high quality drug education in festival settings. The programme also delivered harm reduction information concerning drug trends as well as brief interventions aiming to influence behaviour and encourage safer choices.


- The Drugs.ie website which provides a comprehensive range of information and supports related to substance use.


- The HSE provides a Drugs and Alcohol helpline, which is contactable though a confidential freephone helpline on 1800 459 459 from Monday to Friday between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm. This helpline allows people to talk through any concerns about drugs or alcohol and access information about services which may be required.


We cannot be complacent about the potential dangers which drugs can cause to individuals, our communities, or society at large. The Government is committed to a public health approach to drug use, that will lead to better outcomes for all.

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