Press Release: Thursday, 24 October 2019
The North West Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force has launched a short video as part of its pilot ‘Think Before You Buy’ campaign to highlight the role of recreational drug use in contributing to the fear and intimidation experienced by local communities, particularly drug debt intimidation. The short video is being shown in cinemas in Sligo, Carrick on Shannon & Letterkenny since Friday, 18 of October and will run for five weeks. The video can also be accessed on www.nwdrugtaskforce.ie.
‘Think Before You Buy’ is a joint campaign between NWRDATF, An Garda Síochána, and Safer Blanchardstown, using posters as well as the video to promote its message. The fear and intimidation taking place in local communities is a product of the link between the vast amounts of money generated by recreational drug use and criminal activity. This includes activities involved in supplying drugs, intimidation, extortion and crimes such as burglaries, handbag/phone snatchings etc. carried out to pay drug debts or to support continued drug use.
Recent CSO official data indicates that drug crime is split between possession for personal use (75%) and the supply side (25%) (this data is currently declared as being ‘under reservation’ due to issues surrounding the validity of Garda statistics). Speaking about the campaign, Detective Sergeant Niall Davey said “Such involvement in the drugs trade has a negative effect on every citizen’s quality of life either through fear of becoming a victim of through direct experience”.
According to Philip Jennings of Safer Blanchardstown “the real money is made by the drugs trade at the weekends when the casual or recreational user orders their small bit of hash or cocaine”. It’s this money that “attracts serious violence and intimidation, which is affecting communities’ right across the country” he said. “The ‘Think Before You Buy’ campaign is vital to draw attention to this link between recreational use of drugs, the vast amounts of money it generates, criminal activity and drug-debt intimidation.”
Sean O’Connor, Co-ordinator, NWRDATF said “We want to encourage people to think about where the money they hand over for drugs goes, what it’s used for and the impact it may have on their local community.
Remember if you use drugs YOU are part of the problem! ‘Think Before You Buy’,
Condoning recreational drug use trivialises and normalises drug taking as a harmless pursuit – this normalisation and trivialisation has to be questioned and challenged at all levels of society – most especially in the media.
The underlying cause of the drugs issue is recreational drug use – if you use recreational drugs, you cannot complain about drug dealers because they are supplying you with your €10 worth of drugs!
NACDA General Pop Study 2016 – 9% of adults living in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland between 15 & 64 years of age tried drugs in last year.
Census 2011 – 4.8 Million in Republic of Ireland & 1.8 million lived in Northern Ireland (6.6m).
Those aged between 15 and 64 years numbered 3,022,869 in the Republic and in Northern Ireland 1,080,000 (4, 102,869m) for the whole of Ireland.
9% of 4, 102,869 = 369,258 engaged in recreational drug use each week…
€10pw = €3,692,580 per week X by 52 weeks = €192,014,269 per year