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695 drug-related deaths in 2015 show urgent need for supervised injection facility

The HRB’s National Drug Related Death Index figures released today showed nearly 700 drug-related deaths in Ireland in 2015. Responding to these figures, Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) calls on the government to implement more harm reduction measures to tackle high-risk drug use. MQI highlights the urgent need for the planned supervised injection facility.

Tony Geoghegan, CEO of MQI, stated:

“It’s an awful indictment on our society that nearly two people a day are dying from drug–related causes. Half of these people are dying from drug overdoses, which in many cases are preventable. We need the government to provide greater support systems for high-risk drug users if we are to prevent further drug-related deaths.”

MQI are calling for;

  • Full implementation of the national drug strategy ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery’.
  • Immediate introduction of the Medically Supervised Injection Facility (MSIF).
  • Extension of the anti-opiate initiatives.
  • Greater access to treatment services.

In concluding remarks, Tony Geoghegan said:

“We are calling on the government to increase investment in vital services targeted at street-injecting drug users. While we welcome the government’s commitment to opening MSIFs in Ireland, we must also provide greater numbers of accessible detox beds within the system and more supported accommodation for those people completing rehabilitation.”

For more information or to arrange an interview with our spokesperson, Tony Geoghegan, please contact Andrew Rooney on 086 7793 208or e-mail andrew.rooney@mqi.ie 

 

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