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Ministers must take action on rise in cocaine use

26 January, 2005


Reacting to the news from the Council of Europe that Ireland now has the second highest rate of cocaine use in Europe, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Justice, Equality and Human Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said it is "an issue I have been flagging up for some time now, deserving of more effective action from this Government".

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "The revelation by the Council of Europe that Ireland now has the highest rate of amphetamine use and the second highest rate of cocaine use in Europe confirms a pattern that I have been flagging up for some time now, particularly with respect to the rise of cocaine as a drug of choice. There is an urgent need for more effective action to increase enforcement against drug traffickers. The Minister for Justice must be held to account for his failure to prioritise this issue because it doesn't either serve his ideological agenda or affect the elite in Dublin 4.

"In a party submission to the Natoinal Drug Strategy Mid-Term Review I warned the Minister of State responsible that urgent action was needed on cocaine to prevent this relatively new problem from spiralling out of control. This is one of the main standards by which the recommendations for the remainder of the Strategy will be judged. If the mid-term review report does not set out a clear agenda around the interdiction of cocaine trafficking and providing specific and appropriate services for cocaine addicts - together with a strong commitment of adequate resources for these and a specific timeline for implementation - then it will be a failure." ENDS

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