Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (444, 445, 446)

John Curran

Ceist:

444. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the number of drugs-related deaths in 2016 in which the persons had heroin in their system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47701/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Curran

Ceist:

445. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the number of persons who died with methadone in their system of the drugs-related deaths in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47702/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Curran

Ceist:

446. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Health the number of persons who died while on a methadone treatment programme of the drugs-related deaths in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47703/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 444 to 446, inclusive, together.

The National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) is an epidemiological database which reports on poisoning deaths (also known as overdose) which are due to the toxic effect of a drug, or combination of drugs, and on non-poisonings which are deaths as a result of trauma, such as hanging, or medical conditions, such as cardiac events, among people who use drugs.

The NDRDI is administered and maintained by the Health Research Board and is jointly funded by the Department of Health and the Department of Justice and Equality.The NDRDI records data from four sources: the Coroner Service, the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry scheme (HIPE), the Central Treatment List (CTL) and the General Mortality Register (GMR) via the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in order to ensure that the database is complete and accurate.The NDRDI data for 2016 show 72 poisoning deaths in which heroin was implicated and 103 poisoning deaths in which methadone was implicated, of which 66 were among persons on the methadone treatment programme.

Thirty-one overdose deaths occurred among people who inject heroin, the majority of these occurred in Dublin city.

I strongly believe that overdose deaths are preventable and must be addressed as a public health issue. In particular, establishing a medically supervised injection facility in Dublin city centre would provide healthcare for those who inject drugs and save lives. This would also make our city streets safer for residents, children, tourists and workers.

I strongly support the appeal by Merchants Quay Ireland to An Bord Pleanála to overturn the decision by Dublin City Council to refuse planning permission for this critical health care facility in Dublin city.