A drugs detox unit at Ennis General Hospital would provide a means of dealing with addiction for users that cannot afford private facilities according to Labour’s Seamus Ryan.

Seamus who is Labour’s only candidate in Clare for the local elections that take place in five weeks time is of the view that such a facility is “vitally needed in our public health services in Clare considering the failure that the policy of criminalisation of drug use has been as a way of combating their use”.

“Drug usage has become entirely too common all across the county and the country, serious and harmful drugs are available in every village and townland of the county if you know where to look and who to ask. Not everyone who wants to quit this type of detrimental behaviour can afford to use private detox facilities or would succeed in quitting without the support of their families at a local centre. That’s why I believe that Ennis needs a centre like this and basing it at the local hospital would add a needed facility to our local hospital “

Referring to Portugal which he claims has recorded “massive reductions in the levels of drug usage since 2001” when drug use was decriminalised, Ryan stated “The government of the time replaced criminal sanctions with a physical & mental health led approach for the end user of narcotics. Watching what’s going on around me I have come to the conclusion that criminalising drug users as a deterrent from drug use has failed”.

While Ryan maintained this a national issue the Ennis Municipal District candidate believes local politicians should not shy away from advocating on the subject. “Drug usage is a serious problem that is affecting all parts of the country and the county from Ennis on through to every townland in the county, criminals make vast profits from drugs and this is warping our local communities with families bearing the brunt of this. By supporting this change in the law I want to see people taken out from under the thumbs of criminals and be in a position to improve their lives, the lives of their families and our communities.“

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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