Earlier this week it was announced that Ireland is set to decriminalise small amounts of drugs which are intended for personal use. Heroin, cocaine and cannabis are all included and from next year, drug users will also be able to inject themselves in specially designated rooms in Dublin.
It has been made clear that it will still be a crime to profit from either the sale or distribution of illegal drugs but that drug takers will no longer be criminalised for their actions.
Speaking out about the decision, Aodhan O Riordain who is in charge of Ireland’s National Drug Strategy said that the attitude towards drugs needs to move away from shaming addicts to helping them.
Commenting on the controversial ‘injection rooms’, Riordain pointed out that this is not to condone or encourage this behaviour but merely to provide clinically controlled environments that aim to prevent already vulnerable individuals from exposing themselves to further risks. He added:
“Research has shown that the use of supervised injecting centres is associated with self-reported reductions in injecting risk behaviours.”
If successful, similar rooms are set to open in other parts of Ireland including Cork, Galway and Limerick.
The move has come just a few weeks after a leaked report from the UN appeared to call for the worldwide decriminalisation of drugs. The report was later withdrawn however after there was pressure from at least one nation to bury the findings of one particular study.
Do you think decriminalising drugs is a good or bad thing? Is this something England should do as well or do you think it will make people more likely to experiment with drugs which could possibly lead to addiction? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on ourFacebook page. If you are struggling with a drug problem you can also contact us for treatment.