Articles tagged with: Drugs

Drug Policy: Need for Radical Change?

on Thursday, 29 September 2011. Posted in Issue 67 Questioning Drug Policy

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Drug Policy: Need for a Radical Change?


What began as a heroin problem in inner-city Dublin in the 1980s has now spread like a cancer throughout Irish society. A wide variety of drugs, from cannabis to heroin to cocaine and on to crack cocaine, are now available in almost every town and village in Ireland. Crystal meth will probably be the next wave of drugs to hit our shores. While many of us have lived our entire lives without ever seeing an illegal drug, this most certainly cannot be assumed to be the case for the children and young people now growing up in our society.

The monetary value of the illegal drug trade in Ireland probably runs to hundreds of millions of euro per year.1 This ‘business’ has created about twenty violent drug gangs, who import illegal drugs and control their sale. Despite the successes of the Gardaí in seizing huge quantities of drugs and arresting those who are dealing in this trade, there is no shortage of drugs on our streets. As long as a kilo of cocaine can be bought in South America for €700, and sold on the streets of our cities and towns for €70,000, there will be no shortage of people willing to risk imprisonment – or worse – for this kind of profit. Each new generation of drug dealers is more violent and more alienated from the society around them than those who went before, and the factors which trigger their violence are becoming more and more trivial. Their violence and threats of violence discourage all but the bravest from providing information or evidence to the Gardaí.

Alcohol: A Key Public Health Issue

on Wednesday, 03 June 2009. Posted in Issue 60 Health Matters

Margaret Burns

May, 2009

Alcohol: A Key Public Health Issue

Off-licence sales of alcohol

Off-licence sales of alcohol have increased

© D. Speirs


The television documentary, When the Party’s Over, presented by Dr Mark Hamilton and broadcast on RTE just before Christmas 2008, provided many memorable images of Ireland’s current drinking habits and of the consequent impact on individuals and society as a whole.

One of the most striking features of the programme was the way it so clearly illustrated the fact that ‘ordinary social drinking’ as it has come to be defined in modern Ireland makes for levels of consumption that are well in excess of the limits for low-risk drinking advised by health authorities. It would appear that many people in Ireland would find themselves readily agreeing with the view of the young woman, quoted in a 2003 article in The Observer, who said: ‘That is not binge drinking. That’s called having a social life.’1

Alcohol and Drugs

on Thursday, 26 April 2007. Posted in Issue 55 The Election Issue, 2007

May, 2007


pdf Alcohol and Drugs 79.70 Kb

One of the notable features of prosperous Ireland has been its level of spending on alcohol and illegal drugs. The Strategic Task Force on Alcohol report of 2004 calculated that the country’s annual expenditure on alcohol of nearly €6 billion of personal income in 2002 represented €1,942 for every person over fifteen years of age.1

Getting to Grips with Ireland's Alcohol Problems

on Thursday, 02 December 2004. Posted in Issue 49 The Garda Síochána Bill 2004 (Somone will be watching you!), 2004

November, 2004

Margaret Burns*

Urgent need for responsible attitude to drinkingRecent months have seen the publication of two important reports on alcohol in Irish society - the Report on Alcohol Misuse by Young People, issued by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children in June 2004, and the Second Report of the Strategic Task Force on Alcohol, which was published in September. (1)  These documents provide a wealth of information and analysis on the topic of alcohol in Ireland today and put forward a range of recommendations. They merit serious consideration by all concerned about health and social well-being in the newly-prosperous Ireland.

Drugs: The Current State of Play

on Wednesday, 30 July 2003. Posted in Issue 33 Wanted: An Immigration Policy, 1998

Frank Brady, SJ

December 1998



In October 1996 and May 1997 the Ministerial Task Force on Measures to Reduce the Demand for Drugs published its first and second reports. The first report deals mainly with heroin and the problem of opiate misuse in the Greater Dublin area. The second deals with the non-opiate problem nation-wide, with drugs in prisons, and, briefly, with therapeutic communities and rehabilitation.

We tend to think that law defines what crime is. This makes sense because contemporary legal codes are concerned with marking out the territory where conduct is permissible by specifying the conduct that is outlawed. Yet the earliest bodies of law – consider for example, the Torah or Hammurabi’s Code – are at least as committed to articulating the good as proscribing the bad... Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.