Written answers

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Department of Health

National Drugs Strategy

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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524. To ask the Minister for Health if he will report on the widespread dealing of cocaine in the Dublin city area; the treatment services available; the location of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32397/18]

Photo of Catherine ByrneCatherine Byrne (Dublin South Central, Fine Gael)
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The national drugs strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery, seeks to minimise the harms caused by the use and misuse of substances and to promote rehabilitation and recovery. The latest drug prevalence data indicate just 1.5 per cent of adults used cocaine in the previous year, with less than half of one percent of adults using the drug in the last month.

In 2016, there were in the region of 1,135 treatment cases where cocaine was the main problem drug reported. I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy on the availability and location of treatment services for people who suffer from cocaine addiction.

The national drugs strategy also seeks to reduce access to drugs for harmful use. Protecting the public from dangerous substances is a core objective of the drug control framework. Addressing the harmful aspects of drugs, such as drug-dealing, requires a collaborative effort across a range of agencies.

Cocaine is on the list of drugs that are controlled by law. A person found in possession of cocaine is guilty of an offence.

My colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality is responsible for monitoring the supply of cocaine. The latest published data are for 2016, when there were 364 seizures of cocaine by the Gardaí and Revenue Customs, involving 91 kilos of cocaine and a street value of over €6 million.

I am committed to implementing the national drugs strategy and to provide the necessary resources for prevention and rehabilitation.


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