1st October 2023 – The Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use has concluded its substantive consideration of the issues under its terms of reference and will reconvene later in October to agree its recommendations. Following that, the Assembly will finalise its report and submit its recommendations to the Oireachtas by the end of this year.
This weekend’s meeting included a wide range of contributors speaking about drugs prevention and education. Sunday morning’s discussions focussed on resilience and well-being, with presentations from academics and organisations working directly with people who use drugs, peer-led recovery, families, and young people. The meeting also included a discussion on funding and governance for national drugs policies with contributions from current and retired senior civil servants.
Speaking at the close of today’s meeting, independent Chair, Paul Reid, said Assembly members had now heard a collective 180 hours of discussion about all aspects of drugs use in Ireland. He said this represented the most comprehensive assessment and consideration of drugs policy in Ireland, and said members are well-equipped to consider and agree final recommendations in the weeks ahead.
Mr Reid commented, “With our focus on the important issues of drugs prevention, intervention, and education, we have completed consideration of the outstanding issues that we were mandated to examine under the Terms of Reference agreed by the Oireachtas earlier this year.
“We could keep talking about drugs policy and how to reduce the harm caused by illicit drugs use. The topic is live and relevant as witnessed by high-profile events in the news this week. But we were also asked by the Oireachtas to make recommendations by the end of this year, and it is right that we now move to considering specific policies that the Assembly believe will prove more effective.”
“Over the next three weeks members will receive draft recommendations that reflect the nature of the conversations to date. They will have the opportunity to discuss these draft recommendations further to make sure they accurately reflect the nature of those discussions. Members will then proceed to vote on these at the next meeting at the end of this month.”
“This has been a thorough process. All sides of the debate, many different viewpoints, and local, national and international perspectives have been shared. Members now have the chance to have their say, and I want to thank them for all their work and dedication to achieve a conclusion that will effect change.”