It is easier to get a bag of coke and a pint than it is to get help for depression.
That’s the frank admission from Eoin Morris, 23, who has battled with mental health issues and is now pleading for better services for young people.
“I started drinking when I was 14 and smoking weed,” he said.
“I had personal issues and wasn’t equipped to deal with them so by the time I was about 18, I was drinking every night and becoming increasingly violent.
“I had barely any friends left because I was fighting with everyone. I was a raving lunatic and I was thinking seriously of ending it all.
“Luckily those close to me noticed the signs and urged me to go to a GP and then a counsellor who made me realise that it wasn’t the fact I was drinking but it was why I was drinking.
“When I faced my demons, I didn’t need a drink.”
However, Eoin, from Duleek, Co Meath, then began taking cocaine which, he says, is easily accessible.
“Everyone is on it. I’ve seen people on low wages who would snort a couple of grand worth at the weekend and get themselves seriously in debt.
"People are getting out credit union loans to pay their drug debts.
“You’d take it to stay awake and party all weekend but what goes up must come down and by the Sunday, you’d be in bed all day, feeling very low or even lower if you felt that way initially.
"People don’t realise it actually heightens depression.
Eoin recognised he was beginning to feel low again.
“I knew I was heading down the same road and thankfully I saw that and I had to willpower to give it up.
“I want to say ‘it’s OK to have a problem’ or to not feel well.
"It happens to everyone, no one is immune to it and it should be easy to say and easy to get support.
“Truth is, it’s easier to get a bag of coke and a pint than it is to get help.
“There are many young men dying by suicide because of mental health issues in this country and my generation shouldn’t have to bury one of their own.”