Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Questions on Promised Legislation
I wish to raise a parallel issue to the one raised by Deputy Micheál Martin and reference the drugs strategy again. Part of the strategy that is published is to keep legislation up to date to deal with emerging trends. The Taoiseach will have seen the article in The Sunday Business Post by journalist Susan Mitchell over the weekend on the explosion in the amount of prescription drugs used in Ireland. There has been a phenomenal increase in some instances. Prescriptions for Valium alone increased from 54,000 over a decade. A number of particular drugs - opioids, "benzoids" and sleeping tablets - have caused huge problems in other jurisdictions, particularly in the United States, where it now regards prescription drugs as one of the over-arching most important health issues being faced by many communities there. In regard to tackling the issue of prescription drugs being abused, what particular measures does the Taoiseach propose? Does he have legislative or any other measures to tackle this situation before it gets out of hand here as it has done in other jurisdictions?