Ireland playing catch-up in war on drugs

By Abrad · Aug 28, 2006 · ·
  1. Abrad
    Ireland’s drugs problems should have been tackled 20 years ago, according to the Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Noel Ahern.

    Ireland’s drugs problems should have been tackled 20 years ago, according to the Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Noel Ahern.

    The minister’s comments follow his announcement last Thursday that the government will be spending a further €2.79 million in a continued effort to tackle drug abuse.

    Ahern said the country’s drug problems were rooted in the unemployment and social disadvantage of the 1970s and 1980s.

    ‘‘Much of what we’re doing now should have been done 20 years ago,” he said.

    He said the issue of drugs was spreading throughout the country and was becoming more prevalent in rural areas and commuter towns such as Portlaoise, Dundalk and Carlow.‘‘As Dublin spreads, I suppose its problems spread with it. We are improving services in these areas and will continue to do so,” he said.

    Ahern added that it was hard to evaluate the success of spending on drug prevention projects to date. ‘‘It’s a big investment, but it hasn’t killed the problem, and it won’t do so overnight,” he said.

    However, continued spending on the prevention side was vital to deal with the drugs problem, according to Ahern.

    The spending package announced by Ahern will be used to support community-based initiatives that target the issue of drugs misuse.

    More than half of the money will be spent on projects aimed at young people, under the young people’s facilities and services fund, which was established in 1998. Last week’s announcement will bring the total amount provided through this fund to €104 million.

    Some €1.66 million will be spent on four youth and community facilities in Dublin, Limerick and Cork, and another five youth projects in Waterford.

    These projects are designed to divert ‘‘at risk’’ young people away from drugs and into alternative activities.

    The remainder of the €2.79 million will be split between the department’s emerging needs fund and premises initiative fund. Just under €900,000 has been allocated under the emerging needs funds, which provides money for education and training initiatives, as well as supplying youth and outreach workers.

    The premises initiative fund, which approved spending of just over €250,000 last week, addresses the accommodation needs of local anti-drugs projects.

    Ahern said his department had a dedicated budget of €43 million this year under the National Drugs Strategy, which is implemented by 14 local and ten regional drugs task forces around the country.

    This represents an increase of 37 per cent on the amount allocated last year and a rise of 61 per cent on the 2004 figure.

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  1. Nature Boy
    Should have been tackled 20 years ago? Is Ahern off his nut? 20 years ago, glue-sniffing was the only activity available to someone who wanted to get wasted. Today there are numerous options. Wanna know why Noel? Because the demand is there, these drugs won't just magically disappear. People are also more aware of what drugs will do for them too. No more "two tokes of cannabis will rot your lungs from the inside" gibberish.

    These community-based projects are rarely successful either. The people with the real problems will never be contacted because either these projects don't have the means to find them or the junkies will stay well away from them. No it won't happen overnight Noel Ahern, it won't happen within a hundred years either.
  2. D.U.M.B
    In my opinion then should just cash in on it all. Legalise some products here and there and take some tourism away from holland. Wishful thinking I guess.

    I think Ireland will continue to lose the fight with the "war" on drugs over the next twenty years
  3. Trebor
    Didn't anybody pick up a paper today? They all more or less had something about this.

    In ther Independent, a big mac is more dangerous then cannabis, in the mirror, why we should legalize cannabis by a U.S. D.E.A. Agent. Mark this day people, soon we shall be too baked to remember it.
  4. D.U.M.B
    Anything about this online Trebor? A link or a post in news section would be cool
  5. Trebor
    Nope, you'll just have to spend the euro on a paper.
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