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British Irish Council meets in Jersey

29 June 2012

Delegates from the British-Irish Council are meeting in the Island today.

The BIC Sectoral Group will meet to discuss the misuse of drugs in a ministerial meeting at the Pomme D’Or Hotel. It is the eighth Ministerial meeting of the British-Irish Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and the first of its kind to be held in Jersey.

During the half day-long session, which is to be hosted by the Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Anne Pryke and the Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Ian Le Marquand, attendees will discuss a wide range of issues. The meeting will be chaired by Minister of State with responsibility for Primary Care in Ireland, Ms Róisín Shortall T.D.

The meeting will be attended by Jersey’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Turnbull, and Mike Gafoor, director of Jersey’s Drug and Alcohol Service.

The Ministers will also take the opportunity to discuss the issues arising from the use and misuse of alcohol in their jurisdictions, and exchange information on the various approaches being taken to address these.

The group will then consider outline proposals for the work programme for 2013, before the meeting concludes.

The meeting will be attended by leaders and ministers from the 8 BIC member administrations: the UK and Irish Governments; the devolved administrations of the Scottish and Welsh Governments and Northern Ireland Executive; the States of Jersey and Guernsey; and the Government of the Isle of Man.

Last week, Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, and Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, attended the next British-Irish Council (BIC) which was hosted by the Scottish Government.

Speaking about the agenda, Deputy Pryke said "Member administrations of the BIC are continually faced with the challenge of breaking the cycle of drug use among our populations. While progress is being made, more young people using drugs means that there continues to be detriment to the individuals involved, as well as their families and broader society. 

"The misuse of drugs and alcohol, and how we can successfully intervene in this in the future is a large part of our White Paper work we are consulting on at the moment with Islanders. We all want to share learning so we can tackle this important issue wherever we live and work.

Dr Susan Turnbull added "The promotion of healthier lifestyle choices for young people through effective awareness raising; improved focus on personal development and life-skills; and targeted, harm reduction approaches are all key to breaking the cycle of problem substance use."


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