Seizure a reminder that heroin still a serious threat - Ó Snodaigh
While welcoming the massive heroin seizure in west Dublin yesterday, Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said it is a reminder that heroin continues to plague communities across the state. Pointing to increased deaths from heroin and increased numbers of prisoners receiving treatment for heroin addiction, he described the notion that the heroin crisis has stabilised as ‘increasingly threadbare’.
The Dublin South Central TD said: “Firstly, it is important to welcome the seizure of up to 30 kilos of heroin, 25 kilos of herbal cannabis, a machine gun and ammunition in West Dublinyesterday and to congratulate the Gardaí on their success.
“But the size of this haul is a reminder that while the cocaine epidemic has been the focus of recent media attention, heroin continues to plague communities right across the country, and Dublin in particular.
“There were 37 deaths by heroin or methadone overdose registered in 2004 that we know of, with that figure up to 56 by 2005. Yesterday I received a response from the Minister for Justice that informed me that the number of people receiving methadone treatment for heroin addiction in prisons has increased by 54% since 2001 to 2005, following pressure from prisoners groups and Sinn Féin.
“The notion that the heroin crisis has stabilised is looking increasingly threadbare, especially if we accept the internationally recognised guideline that drugs seized by law enforcement agencies amount to a mere 10% of the illegal drugs available. We urgently need the resources committed to tackle drugs crime, but we also need complementary measures to support communities to resist the drugs culture and more funding for drug treatment services and drug awareness and education programmes.”