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8th March 2019 | Health, Press Releases

Tackling drug deaths needs to be a national priority: Greens

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736 people – 2 a day – died in 2016 for drug-related reasons, new government figures have shown. This is a 71% increase on 2004, when the National Drugs-Related Deaths Index began.

The Green Party is calling for provision of rehabilitation services, targeted mental health services, and stable housing with proper supports.

Of those who died from opiate injections in 2016 (the latest figures), 65% were in Dublin City.

Green Party representative for Dublin’s South West Inner City, Michael Pidgeon, said:

“187 people died in road accidents in 2016, which was rightly treated as a national priority. Yet there were over four times as many drug-related deaths that year.

“It is unacceptable that addiction is a death sentence for so many. We cut road deaths through concerted government action – we need to do the same for drug addiction.

“This means serious, long-term funding for rehabilitation services, targeted mental health services, and the supported housing for all those who need it.

“Anyone can be hit by drug addiction, but the links with Ireland’s housing crisis are undeniable. We can see the twin effects of homelessness and addiction every day in the ward I represent and across the country.”