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Almost one person a day died from drugs in eight years to 2005 - Ó Snodaigh

25 February, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has warned against any further cutbacks for drug services pointing to the fact that the heroin epidemic of the 1980s coincided with the economic recession of that time.

At a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs on the proposed new National Drugs Strategy Minister of State with responsibility for drugs John Curran confirmed that drugs have caused 2,500 deaths in the eight year period up to 2005.

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said that figure meant that almost one person had lost their lives as a result of the illegal drug trade every day for eight years.

He said, "Can I remind the Minister that the last recession saw the explosion of the heroin crisis in Dublin and I would call on the entire cabinet not to cut funding to drugs services during this recession but rather to do the opposite. The Minister should also give a commitment that there will be no further cuts to the local and regional drugs task forces in 2009.

"We also need to look at measures to tackle other drugs in use such as crack cocaine and crystal meth. There has been a growth in addiction to these drugs which has gone largely ignored by government. A Garda Superintendent confirmed for me today that Gardaí are looking for at least two crystal meth factories in South Dublin." ENDS

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