Drugs are back in the headlines in Ireland as the European Union (EU) launches a drive to eradicate the harmful drug, benzodiazepines.
The country has been battling the issue since 2013, when it was revealed that benzodiazapines, which were prescribed by more than two million people, had caused a significant rise in drug-related deaths.
More than 1,000 people died from the drugs in the first half of 2017, an increase of more than 15 per cent on the same period in 2016.
But despite this, the number of people who are prescribed the drugs has fallen, falling from 4,878 in 2013 to 3,636 in 2017.
The EU’s strategy, dubbed ‘sustainability in drugs’, is to reduce demand, reducing the cost of drugs, by introducing a three-year moratorium on the import of benzodiaclone, the drug that is responsible for the deaths caused by the drugs.
The aim is to make it cheaper for consumers to purchase drugs from producers in Europe, but experts say the cost is not as clear cut as it used to be.
The new EU strategy aims to bring down the price of the drug by 20 per cent over the next five years.
The move is part of a broader effort to combat drug abuse, with the goal of ending the “world’s highest drug demand”, said Dr Joanna Folan, from the University of Southern Denmark.
“It’s not just about drugs and addiction, it’s about social and economic wellbeing, and the social wellbeing of families.”
We need to get on with our lives.
There are a lot of jobs to be done.
“Drug abuse is a leading cause of premature death in Ireland.
More than 4,500 people die every year from drug-induced overdoses.
The cost of the drugs is the leading cause for Ireland’s high rates of drug-dependent hospital admissions.
A new report released on Tuesday found that Ireland has the highest number of drug related hospital admissions in Europe.”
The costs of this epidemic are being borne by all of us, and it is a public health crisis,” said Dr Peter Donnelly, the chair of the Commission on Drugs and Society.”
For many families, the costs are enormous, and they are often borne by children.
“These are the people who need our support the most.”