Councillor Derren Ó Brádaigh has expressed his hope in welcoming a new Pilot Project that will help better understand the widespread and continuing problem that exists with the misuse of nitrous oxide cannisters. Ó Brádaigh was speaking following recent back to back South Dublin County Council meetings held in order to clear the order of business and some motions that were rolling over on the agenda for some months.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh said; “I am delighted that I finally got to speak and expand upon the frustration that I believe is felt amongst our communities at the inaction to address both the misuse of this particular product and substance abuse more generally. The presence of these ‘silver bullet’ like cartridges discarded on our streets, parks, local shops carparks and elsewhere has become an all-too long lasting and common sight. “Six months ago, I raised this matter, having at the time welcomed the news that the HSE had included information about the misuse and dangers of nitrous oxide on Drugs.ie, however as I said then, this simply does not go far enough. We need to better understand where and why this substance is being misused and set in motion a programme that seeks to seriously get to grips with this problem.
“At the recent Special Council meeting to hear a number of motions, I was encouraged that the Council management will now ‘Pilot’ a three month project to map discarded drug litter across the county. Having pressed upon management, it has now been agreed to collate and share this information with both the local drug task forces teams and Gardai to assist with reducing and ultimately eradicating this substance misuse from within our society.
“Furthermore, it was agreed to write to the Minster for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan to urge Government to initiate a National Awareness campaign. This in my view should begin in our schools and through local youth outreach and community groups. Sports groups and clubs could be directly involved and help play a crucial role too. I believe that with the right motivation and targeted strategy, we can begin to meaningfully address drug and substance abuse and help bring down incidences of anti-social related problems in doing so – however this requires collaborative will that involves listening more to our young people too.”