Their is drug issues affecting many individuals and families in every town and village across the country. My concern arises because it was felt that the drugs issue would not be taken as seriously as Cabinet level as previously and the issue will not be covered specifically by any Cabinet sub-committees. I acknowledge responsibility has transferred to the Department of Health and Children but drugs is very much a community-based problem for many people. We have good, effective community-based drug projects in Dublin Central in the north inner city, including SAOL, Soilse, Crinan, the Cavan Centre, Chrysalis and Oasis. They provide an outstanding service with a limited budget.
More deaths results from drugs and alcohol-related issues, including suicide, than from road traffic accidents. Significant resources are devoted to road safety and I do not begrudge that but we need the same emphasis on drug-related deaths. When something new emerges, for example, crystal meth, it should be tackled quickly.