London School of Economics

Influencing drug policy in Ireland

Since 2015, LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit (IDPU) has been working with Ana Liffey Drug Project in Ireland to help foster a new era of progressive drug policies.

This work helped to drive the introduction of Supervised Injection Facilities (SIFs), which are legally sanctioned premises where people can inject pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. SIFs reduce harm and help more people access treatment. In 2017, the Irish Government legislated to introduce SIFs, with a pilot service due to open in Dublin.

The team are now working with Ana Liffey Drug Project to inform discussion on the decriminalisation of drug possession for personal use. Research shows criminalisation fails to discourage drug use and can prevent people seeking help.

The team have contributed to a working group established to review the criminalisation of drug possession and have produced reports highlighting international evidence on the effectiveness of decriminalisation.

Tony Duffin, Ana Liffey’s CEO: “As a front-line service provider, we see every day the negative impact of prohibition on people who use drugs. We can’t solve Ireland’s drug problem, but we can manage the situation better through evidenced informed policy.”

Further reading