Drug abuse is now Ireland’s “silent pandemic” – Bishop Router

On Sunday 19 February, the Catholic Church marked the Day of Prayer for Temperance offering an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with addiction, and to pray for all who suffer from any form of addiction and for those who work to alleviate its detrimental effects on individuals, families and communities.

Bishop Michael Router, Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, chair of the Bishops’ Council for Healthcare and liaison bishop to the Irish Bishops’ Drugs Initiative, welcomed the comments of Minister Simon Harris in relation to drug use in Ireland. Bishop Router said, “I welcome in particular the comments this week in the Dáil, by Minister for Justice Simon Harris, who highlighted a ‘direct link between snorting a line or taking a pill and murder, assault, criminality and misery.’”

Bishop Router continued, “In an interview with the Sunday Independent on 19 September 2021, I made the point that drug abuse is now ‘a silent pandemic’ in Ireland, and that political will is needed to tackle it.  I, like Minister Harris, called on all those who use drugs as a so-called ‘recreational’ activity, to rethink their behaviour as it helps to fund gangs who prey on socially deprived families.”

Bishop Router said in conclusion, “May we realise, through our prayers and reflection, that we all have a responsibility to moderate our own behaviour and attitudes to drugs and alcohol so as to bring about the change we so urgently need in our country at this time.”

To read Bishop Router’s full statement, click here.


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