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Demand / Harm Reduction

What is it?

Demand and Harm Reduction are strategies designed to reduce the public’s desire for illegal and illicit drugs. Our current National Drugs Strategy Reducing harm, supporting recovery: a health-led approach to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017— 2025, contains a number of demand and harm reduction actions. In this strategy, Government commits to supporting a health-led rather than criminal justice approach to drugs use including legislating for supervised injection rooms, recognising the need for a more humane and compassionate approach to drug use, with a focus on harm reduction which recognises that addiction and substance misuse is a public health issue. 

An Garda Síochána’s Role? 

An Garda Síochána play a significant role in both demand and harm reduction. While our primary role is supply reduction, An Garda Síochána engages in a number of Demand and Harm Reduction initiatives which are both victim and human rights centred.  This includes enhancing the effectiveness and awareness of our Drug Related Intimidation Reporting Programme with our partner agency The National Family Support Network (NFSN) and building on the relationships with our Local Policing Fora and maintaining relationships between An Garda Síochána and the communities. Such initiatives include internal training, interagency collaboration, interaction around drug awareness with schools, third level colleges and the community in general.

Partner Agencies involved?

  • Department of Health
  • Health Service Executive
  • National Drug Treatment Centres
  • National Family Support Network
  • Community and Voluntary Sectors