Young man who said it was easier to get a bag of coke than mental health help to fundraise for free services

Young man who said it was easier to get a bag of coke than mental health help to fundraise for free services
Eoin Morris

A young man who said it was 'easier to get a bag of coke and a pint than to get help for mental health issues,' has been swamped with support and messages from young people going through the same battle.

Eoin Morris (23) from Duleek is now part of a task force in his village to fundraise for full-time free counselling services to those with mental health issues who feel they have no-one to turn to.

Eoin, who managed to get help thanks to loved ones, believes young people are often turning to drink and drugs to escape their demons but instead becoming addicted and falling into debt to drug dealers.

He says cocaine is now so easily accessible that it has become the norm for many on a night out.

Eoin said he started drinking when he was 14 years old and then smoking weed but personal issues that he couldn't handle led to him drinking constantly by the time he was 18.

"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 a drinking."

However about a year ago, he started taking cocaine but thankfully recognised he was beginning to feel depressed again and had the willpower to get off it.

"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.

You could pay €100 a gram and you could easily go through more in one night. It's around all the time. It's so dangerous and addictive and you can't get away from it.

"Most young people have become desensitised to cocaine now. A normal term is now that someone's head is gone, meaning that they are on the bag.

"It's very hard for young men still to seek help and it's even harder to find it. There should be a support system in every village but there's not. People often say to me, my head is not right, I'm going for a pint to feel normal for a few hours. But the problems are still there after that pint.

Since speaking out about his experience, Eoin says he has been inundated with messages from strangers all around the country.

"I've been getting messages of support from people I vaguely know and strangers from all around the country saying how brave I was to speak out and that by doing so, I might have saved a life.

"Some people have told me their stories of what they went through or are going through and can't get help. Some of the stories are actually soul destroying to think they have no-one to turn to.

"I don't want lads growing up in my village thinking they have no other option but drugs and drink. I'm now part of a task force to try and educate young people and put in place the supports they need by fundraising.

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.

Local councillor Sharon Keogan who has spear-headed the Drug Free Duleek initiative said: "Eoin has been a great role model and there are other kids now willing to share their battles.

"Many young people are constantly struggling with their mental health. We are in the process of getting a task force up and running and we will be fundraising for better mental health services in the town and a full-time free counselling service.


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