Local MLA calls for action on drug abuse

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Monday, June 20th, 2016
Community, Politics
SDLP South Down MLA Colin McGrath has called on the new Executive to prioritise a cross-cutting strategy to tackle the scourge of drug dealing and drug abuse in communities across the North. drugs9McGrath, a qualified youth worker, used his maiden speech in the Assembly to challenge the government to tackle an issue which has blighted life for individuals and families across Northern Ireland. He said, “The sale of illegal drugs is an insidious crime that continues to creep into communities across Northern Ireland, bringing with it misery and devastation to the families it touches. “Despite the excellent work of community intervention project, the growing tide of drug abuse is one of the most serious issues facing individuals, families and communities across this region,” he insisted. “There is never a happy ending to habitual drug abuse. It has a debilitating impact on the lives of those addicted and on the lives of their family. It’s clear that we need a cross cutting Executive strategy which brings together criminal justice, education and health interventions to tackle the supply chain, dealers and care for abusers.
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May June 2016 updated“We need a more robust criminal justice response to those who deal in death and misery on our streets. They are a blight on our communities and must be dealt with by the PSNI and judiciary. “But there is no custodial solution for those caught in a cycle of drug abuse. They need clinical support from our health service and community support to beat their addiction. McGrath added, “This is a very real issue for communities across this region. This is an area of critical need and the Executive must deliver.”
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