Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for National Drugs Strategy, Jack Chambers TD welcomed the ‘Think before You Buy’ initiative founded by Safer Blanchardstown, a local community policing forum and believes it is a very good initiative and will help communities become more aware about the dangers of drug taking .

Deputy Chambers said, “So much of our emphasis is continually placed on problem drug use and the ravaging effects of addiction. Yet, those that indulge in drug use recreationally often incorrectly believe that social use of illicit substances is safer, free of inherent risks and legal.

“According to Safer Blanchardstown, 9% of the population admitted to trying drugs in the previous year. That 9% represents almost 370,000 recreational drug users each week in Ireland.

“If each of those 370,000 spent €10 a week on drugs, that is a sizable amount of money generated weekly and the majority of which goes directly into the pockets of deadly criminals who are holding our communities at ransom.

“Those suffering in addiction in our city centre and in the more deprived parts of Dublin may be an obvious symbol of the drugs scourge but young people in particular need to be made aware that every gram of cocaine or ecstasy pill bought is money directly into the pockets of criminals.

“Many recreational drug users do not necessarily realise the contribution they are making to ongoing gangland feuds. The harsh reality is that there is little or no difference between a person that purchases a handful of pills to consume on a night out and an individual who supplies drugs to those suffering in addiction.

Deputy Chambers concluded, “Welcomed initiatives such as this one have every capacity to highlight the devastating realities of recreational drug use including the health defects; the cost on our health services; the relationships destroyed and the lives ruined.”