Written Answers - National Drugs Strategy.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 707 No. 3

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  268.  Deputy Catherine Byrne  Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne   asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs  Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey   the number of persons employed in the national advisory committee on drugs; the job titles in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16530/10]

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey): Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  The National Advisory Committee on Drugs currently has a staff complement of 3 people — 1 Director, 1 Higher Executive Officer and 0.6 Clerical Officer. Delays arose in relation to the filling of the Research Officer post in the Committee, against the background of prevailing restrictions on recruitment. The approval of the Department of Finance was recently received to fill the post and it is intended that it will be advertised in the coming weeks.

  269.  Deputy Catherine Byrne  Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne   asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs  Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey   the progress made on the national advisory committee on drugs overview of psychoactive substances sold in head shops which went out to tender in February 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16531/10]

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey): Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  As the Deputy is aware, the National Advisory Committee on Drugs is undertaking a research project in the areas of Headshops and “Legal Highs”. The research will look at new psychoactive substances [549]of natural and synthetic origin and the outlets supplying them. The key objectives of the research project are twofold, namely:

to undertake a review of the products concerned in order to establish what they are supposed to contain and what they actually contain and thereby establish the risk factors associated with consumption of these products; and

to provide an overview and analysis of measures taken in other jurisdictions to restrict psychoactive substances.

Following a recent request for tenders, it is anticipated that a contract will be placed with the preferred bidder to carry out the research in early May. It is expected that the findings of the research will be available by the end of July.


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