Impossible situation when drugs groups expected to do more with less
Fine Gael Cork Senator, Jerry Buttimer today (Friday) slammed the Government’s reckless decision to slash funding for local drugs task forces saying the move will tie the hands of the people tasked with attempting to deal with our sky-rocketing drugs epidemic.
“The Government is well aware of the rising drug problem in out towns and cities and is attempting to address the problem by cutting funding for the National Drugs Strategy in Budget 2010.
“The impact such a decision will have on the provision of services at a time when our streets are awash with heroin cannot be overstated. The gravity of the situation can be seen by the fact that in Cork in 2004 there were just four seizures of heroin. In 2006 there were 77 and last year there were 159. To date this year there has been 165 seizures. That figures are going up is a testament to the hard work and bravery of the Garda in the Cork area. However, we have a heroin epidemic and a drug use problem that we have failed to get a handle on and with a cut in funding announced for 2010 the situation only stands to get worse.
“Our hands are being tied in our attempts to we eliminate the use of drugs, avoid deaths and put drug dealers out of business.
“The National Drugs Strategy is predicated on a number of investment and funding pillars. The programmes we offer to the people we are supposed to support will now be negatively impacted to the detriment of people’s health.
“These cuts are an abandonment of the Government’s commitment to tackle the spiralling drugs problem. The proliferation of drugs on our streets is no longer confined to Cork but stretches to every town and village in the State. Any Government that acknowledged that drug use is increasing then cuts funding displays a severe dereliction of duty. Beyond doubt our people deserve more.”