Press Release

Minister Ó Ríordáin to host Think Tank on the National Drug Problem

Minister of State with Special Responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, announced that he will be hosting a Think Tank on the National Drug Problem today in Dublin’s Mansion House.

Facilitated by Ard-Mhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh, the conference will be attended by representatives of Local & Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Forces in addition to representatives of the Community & Voluntary Sectors. Speaking in advance of the event, Minister Ó Ríordáin said:

“I’m delighted that the Ard-Mhéara Ní Dhálaigh agreed to facilitate today’s event in the Mansion House. The purpose of today is to get the views of those who are working on the frontline on ongoing developments in relation to Ireland’s drug problem.

“Today’s proceedings will provide an opportunity to focus on three key issues. The first session will consider the decriminalisation model as adopted by Portugal. The second session will examine the rationale for Medically Supervised Injecting Rooms and the third session will look at the challenges associated with the current high levels of polydrug use.

“I hope that each session will inspire a wide ranging discussion on what is and is not working currently, as well as providing myself and the Department of Health with an insight into the unique experiences of different communities across the country in relation to the drug problem.

“My intention is to produce a paper, following today’s conference, giving an overview of the complexity of this issue on the ground, detailing the views of those involved in Local and Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Forces, which I hope to present to Cabinet in the autumn.

“Today is about catching a snapshot in time of what is going on across the country in relation to our drug problem, giving Task Forces across the country, as well as those working within frontline services, a chance to voice their thoughts on what needs to be done for the future.”

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