Charity registers 20 new heroin users per week

One of Ireland's leading drug addiction centres registered 20 new heroin users every week last year, it was revealed today.

Merchants Quay Ireland says heroin use is fast becoming a national crisis, with the drug growing in popularity in many towns and cities.

The charity says the increase in heroin use outside Dublin is alarming and cities like Cork and Waterford now have significant problems with the drug.

In its latest annual report, the organisation says more than 5,200 people attended its clinics last year, including 942 new addicts using its needle exchange programme.

The centre said it was facing a growing demand for services and now offers addicts help in Carlow, Offaly, Laois, Westmeath and Longford as well as its main Dublin base.

Tony Geoghegan, Merchants Quay chief executive, called for a national network of crisis, treatment and family support services.

“Heroin respects no borders and users are now to be found in all areas from Ballyshannon to Ballydehob,” he said.

“Cities such as Cork and Waterford that might have been considered relatively unscathed five years ago now have significant problems.

“Heroin use is a national crisis.”

Mr Geoghegan called the Government’s new National Drugs Strategy short-sighted as there are no commitments for resources.

“British research shows that for every £1 spent on drug treatment £3 is saved in terms of social, health and criminal justice related expenditure,” he said.

“In this era of slashing and snipping we would ask that Government bears in mind the fact that early and effective intervention is the most cost effective way of addressing the drugs problem.”


More in this Section

FG and FF set to ‘love-bomb’ GreensFG and FF set to ‘love-bomb’ Greens

Alan Kelly becomes Labour party leaderAlan Kelly becomes Labour party leader

Northern Ireland in line for five million items of PPE from LondonNorthern Ireland in line for five million items of PPE from London

'We have other lines,' says Tony Holohan as doctors urge Govt to come clean over PPE supplies'We have other lines,' says Tony Holohan as doctors urge Govt to come clean over PPE supplies


Lifestyle

With documentary film ‘Fantastic Fungi’ set to take the world by storm, Joe McNamee looks at the fabulous world of mushroomsDocumentary explores the magic of mushrooms

I lead a very busy life — I’m a mature student in college — and I separated from my partner but the separation was my decision. I hate myself when it beckons as it ultimately makes me fatter, it has the reverse effectDear Louise: I had my bulimia under control. But the demon has returned

This year has been particularly difficult and stressful, and I think that’s an even more important reason to make time for your health.Derval O'Rourke: Resistance is far from futile and necessary

Best-selling author Faith Hogan is keeping the faith during the lockdown, thanks to her Moy Valley haven in Ballina, Co Mayo.Shape I'm in: Keeping the Faith during lockdown

More From The Irish Examiner