Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has appealed to the Government to do more to tackle the growing scourge of crack cocaine in many communities.
A recent report from the Health Research Board showed that the usage of crack cocaine has been growing consistently in recent years.
Teachta Crowe said:
“I am deeply concerned by the consistent rise in the greater usage of crack cocaine in many communities. The latest Health Research Board report shows that over 14% of cocaine treatment is now for this poison.
“Through my work with the local drugs taskforce and regular communication with Tallaght Hospital, I know that the effects that crack cocaine has on individuals, families, and many communities.
“The HSE area that includes Tallaght, CHO7, has seen the total number of people in drug treatment rise by 30% in six years.
“Every single cent that crack cocaine addict has goes towards feeding that habit; children go hungry, users’ health rapidly deteriorates, bills go unpaid, and still that need goes unsatisfied.
“This report was across 2013-2019 and covered the lifespan of the last three Fine Gael governments. We have had Minister after Minister appointed by Fine Gael and they have had no impact whatsoever on the crisis.
“The Government must outline a new approach to drug awareness and addiction support services because clearly what they have been doing is not working.
“Addiction support services in Tallaght are struggling with the same resources they had 20 years ago.
“Communities have been abandoned with open drug dealing taking place and local drugs task forces expected to pick up the pieces of drug addiction.
“It is my belief that the Government are not treating drug addiction seriously and it is creating an opening for the worst kinds of drugs to get a foothold in our communities.”