Upper Bann DUP MLA Sydney Anderson, a former member of the Stormont Justice Committee, spoke out about the problem of drugs during a recent debate in the NI Assembly on the issue.
Mr Anderson said, “I spoke about a ‘drug plague’ because the facts clearly show that drugs continue to blight our communities and devastate families.
“I highlighted the fact that between 2003 and 2012, there were 838 drug-related deaths in Northern Ireland. I also noted that between the beginning of May 2015 to the end of April 2016, 391 drug-related incidents were reported to the PSNI in the Portadown, Banbridge, Gilford, Lurgan and Craigavon areas.
“Figures such as these clearly demonstrate the pain and destruction that drugs continue to inflict on our communities.”
“I acknowledged that whilst the PSNI, statutory agencies, the Public Health Agency and the voluntary and community sector have done much to tackle the drugs scourge, drugs still continue to blight our society.
“I made the point the community needs to unite to tackle this problem head on.
“The PSNI, the local policing and community safety partnerships, schools, youth groups and other community groups have a very important duty to challenge the problems drugs pose.
“It was positive to see the Assembly adopting one strong voice of opposition to drugs.”