Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has called for the development of island-wide strategies to deal with prevention and treatment of substance misuse and addiction.
Her comments come after the subject was discussed at the recent North South Parliamentary forum.
The Foyle MLA and chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee made the call in letters written to both health ministers on the island of Ireland:
“The recent North South Parliamentary forum focused on substance misuse and addiction issues on the island.
“Some startling statistics reveal the extent of substance misuse and addiction that must be an issue of concern to us all.
“Addiction does not recognise any borders in Ireland.
“It stands to reason that we develop island-wide strategies in both prevention and treatment.
“A new substance misuse strategy is being developed in the 26 counties.
“This should not just stop at the border but is an opportunity to extend it throughout the whole island and tackle this blight in our communities.”