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Doolan- Dublin drug deaths higher than government figures

3 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Representative for Dublin South East Daithí Doolan today released figures than indicate drug related deaths in Dublin, "Are actually higher than the government's figures announced this week.'

Mr. Doolan outlined that:

"According to the Trinity Addiction Research Centre 332 people died as a result of opiate related deaths between 1998 and 2001. To put this in perspective, during the same period 253 people died in road tragedies. This is an increase on what the government would have us believe. The Health Minister indicated that between 1991 & 2000 233 people died in drug related circumstances.

This highlights the urgent need for the government to get real and invest in preventative programmes such as the Dublin Opiate Overdose Reduction Strategy. This is a strategy piloted here in Dublin's inner city. DOORS has already produced 10,000 information cards which outline how overdoses can be prevented. There are also plans to produce an educational video to be circulated in other drug projects, schools and community groups.

Just as there is no single answer to preventing road deaths, there is no single approach to the problem of overdoes. But one thing is for sure we can not do it without government assistance. These figures come at a time when Local Drug Task Forces are in the cold face of the drug problem with limited resources."

Mr. Doolan challenged the Minister for Health, "Today's figures show the true reality in Dublin today, this reality can be changed if we receive the government funding we need. The Minister for Health Michael Martin can not hide behind statistics, each number is a human live, two thirds of these tragic deaths can be prevented through the full implementation of DOORS. But it will not happen with out funding. We need that funding now."

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