Pharmacists have called on the Health Service Executive to ensure that 6,000 opiate users in Ireland are put on their recovery programme.
The Irish Pharmaceutical Union says this is necessary to stem the increasing number of attacks on pharmacies in Ireland as a result of a garda crackdown on black-market prescription drugs.
The number of attacks has doubled with 75 so far this year compared with 91 for the whole of last year.
President of the IPU Michael Guckian says is up to the HSE to act.
“The main thing,” he said today, “is for the HSE to reach out to the people that are already opiate addicts and to invite them into a programme that would allow them to be stabilised and to get off those drugs.
He added, “I don't think it's a good idea to flood the market more. It's just a matter of trying to get the 6,000 other opiate people who are not on the scheme into it.”