Ireland is making way for a dramatic political shift by decriminalizing substances including heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. Included in the plan to decriminalize drugs, Ireland will be opening supervised injecting rooms in Dublin next year.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the Minister in charge of Ireland’s National Drugs Strategy, stated in his recent address that he is “of the view that there needs to be a cultural shift in how we regard substance misuse if we are to break this cycle and make a serious attempt to tackle drug and alcohol addiction”.
Ríordáin pointed to the public health implications of decriminalization and the excess amount of funds that are spent in an effort to curb illegal drug use. He also added that compassion must be brought to the forefront, and that drug addiction should be removed from the criminal justice system.The minister hopes the new bill will be enacted sometime in 2016, meaning that current addicts will finally have a protected area to inject their drug of choice, as well as carry on their person several small amounts of substances.
The Implications of Decriminalizing Drugs
Granted, Ríordáin’s comments follow a leaked report from the Office of Drugs and Crime, this does show that established states are putting pressure on the American version of the war on drugs citing faulty political practices.
In light of the opening of supervised injection rooms, new research shows that the use of injection centers dramatically reduce the risks commonly found among hard drug users.
Ireland will be one of several countries that are willing to experiment with drug reformation, so no one knows what negative consequences will occur of their decision.
However, the new act begins the conversation on hard drug use, and how to go around to treating the disease that addiction is. Now that addicts have a safer realm for getting their fix, these places may be able to take preventative measures, as well as connect drug users to treatment options.
Rather than marginalize the persons who abuse substances, now may be the time to litigate interventions for dangerous drug use and behavior, meaning that more and more people may be able to help their loved ones rather than watch their loved one waste away.
While we don’t wish to pass a political stance on what is the correct way for political states to protect its citizens from drug use, we believe that we can all agree that these new social experiments are going to change the way the world talks about drug use.