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Home > Young Irish drug users and their communities.

Cullen, Barry (1998) Young Irish drug users and their communities. In: Young People and Drugs: Critical Issues for Policy, 22 November 1997, Trinity College Dublin.

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The author of this paper argues same resources and support should be made available to community treatment groups as statutory agencies. 37% of Irish 16 year olds have used cannabis, 3 times the European average. 87% of clients sought treatment for opiates, and the age of first use is typically 15-19 years. Opiate use is more prevalent in Dublin than the rest of the country, and users do not see cannabis as a problem drug. Many difficulties arise in policy development because of the failure to make the distinction between occasional recreational and problem drug use. When drug policies focus only on the physiological and psychological effects as if these were the same across territories, social classes and generations they lose a sense of the complexity of the circumstances and context of drug problems. A "war on drugs" approach is often seen by young people as a war on them, their aspirations and their desires which can lead to them illicitly indulging these desires at much greater risk to themselves and their health. The Irish Government has supported an abstinence-only model until the recent introduction of Local Drug Task Forces.

Item Type
Conference or Workshop Item
Publication Type
Irish-related, Book
Drug Type
All substances, Cannabis, Opioid
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
Page Range
pp. 11-14
Event Title
Young People and Drugs: Critical Issues for Policy
Event Location
Trinity College Dublin
Event Dates
22 November 1997
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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