The Government battles Ireland’s drugs problem but is it too late?

The recent amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Bill introduces supervised injecting facilities for heroin addicts, and it’s the Government’s biggest attempt to tackle the drug problem in Ireland in over a decade.

With online suppliers becoming a major player in the drugs trade and the exploitation of legal loopholes, the Government may be trying to grapple something that’s out of their reach.

The Europol EU Drug Markets Report 2016 states that Irish people are the biggest consumers of drugs and psychoactive substances in the EU and the country accounts for 5 per cent of all ecstasy seizures. This may not come as much of a surprise given the draconian drug laws governing our system.

The rest of Europe has had to deal with their own drug crises at one stage or another, and most countries came out of them with significantly lower drug crime figures, but the spotlight is now on Ireland to either follow in their footsteps or introduce an equally effective policy that puts this conundrum to rest.

At the peak of its own drug problem, Portugal decriminalised all psychoactive substances in 2001, turning the possession of drugs into a health issue rather than a criminal one.

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