A signatory to the United Nations drug conventions and a member of the European Union (EU), Ireland pursues a “balanced” drug policy. The objective is “to tackle the harm caused to individuals and society by the misuse of drugs through a concerted focus on the five pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research.” Launching its interim drugs strategy for the period 2009–16, the Irish government announced the establishment of a steering group to investigate the development of a national substance misuse strategy, including illicit drugs and alcohol.

Ireland has relatively high rates of illicit drug use. Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug, with approximately 6.3 percent of the adult population using it annually. Ireland also has among the highest rates of cocaine ...

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