Towards a health-lead approach to possession of drugs

June 5, 2018

Town Hall Dublin – 12 June 2018

Our National Drugs Strategy currently advances a ‘health based response to drug use’. However, possession of illicit drugs is a crime, meaning that people who use drugs are, almost by definition, criminals. This tension between criminalising people who use drugs and vindicating a health based approach to drug use is currently a live issue in many countries, and Ireland is no exception. In 2015 a Joint Oireachtas Committee strongly recommended changing to a system whereby “the possession of a small amount of illegal drugs for personal use, could be dealt with by way of a civil/administrative response and rather than via the criminal justice route.” As part of the current national strategy, a working group has been established to “consider the approaches taken in other jurisdictions to the possession of small quantities of drugs for personal use” in light of the Joint Committee’s previous work.

The Ana Liffey Drug Project has joined forces with the London School of Economics & Hot Press for a series of Town Hall Events to discuss this important issue. We’ll have a conversation about the harms of the current approach, what can be learnt from experiences elsewhere, and what a health led approach to drug use could look like.

2018 is a pivotal time for drug policy in Ireland. We can choose to change how we respond to drug use and to move towards the health-based approach that is mandated by national policy.

We’re kicking off our Town Halls in Wood Quay Venue, Dublin on June 12th. Join us for a discussion on how we can lend a hand to keep people #SaferFromHarm.


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