It is vital that policy in relation to tackling the drugs problem in Ireland is based on solid evidence in relation to the scale and nature of the problem.
The national advisory committee on drugs, NACD, was established to provide analysis of research findings and information commissioned or available to it and to advise the Government in relation to a number of areas, including the prevalence of drug use. In this regard the NACD recently published a study on the prevalence of opiate use in Ireland. It is worth noting that this first formal estimate of opiate use since a 1996 study noted a decrease in the reported figure for opiate users in Dublin from 13,461 in 1996 to 12,456 in 2001. This being said, the Garda Síochána annual policing plans set the enforcement of the legislation in relation to drugs as one of the primary objectives of the organisation.