EMCDDA drug policy profiles

National drug policy of Ireland explored in new EMCDDA policy profile

The national drug policy of Ireland comes under the spotlight in the latest volume in the EMCDDA series of Drug policy profiles released today.

The report, the second publication in this series, explores:

  • the country’s national strategies;
  • the legal context within which they operate;
  • the public funds spent, or committed, to implement them; and
  • the political bodies and mechanisms set up to coordinate the response to the multi-faceted problem of drug use.

The profile sets this information in context by outlining the size, wealth and economic situation of the country as a whole (see ‘Ireland in figures’), as well as the evolution of the current policy through four periods of historic development (see ‘Policy timeline’). It also describes how, as in many European countries, drug policy in Ireland is coordinated at three broad levels: the inter-departmental (or inter-ministry), the operational, and the regional or local.

‘Today’s Irish drugs policy may be viewed as balanced, with strong supply and demand reduction features, expressed in a managerial style that seeks to generate a high level of consensus through stakeholder involvement, building on internationally established best practices’, concludes the report. But it adds that this policy model, and the problems it responds to, may ‘undergo further changes’ as the drugs phenomenon evolves.

This EMCDDA series aims to describe some of the main characteristics of national drug policies in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The profiles do not attempt to assess national policies, but instead outline their development and main features.

The objective is to help readers — from researchers to policymakers — gain a better understanding of the way in which countries control drugs and respond to drug-related security, social and health problems.

Available in English.

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