A new report has revealed a “tsunami” of crack cocaine addictions in Tallaght, with one-third of those seeking help being women.
Over the last 10 years, the number of people treated in Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (TDATF) projects has doubled, with frontline staff believing they’re only meeting a quarter (25%) of the true need.
Despite escalating needs, the task force which funds nine front-line community addiction projects in the Tallaght/Whitechurch area had its budget cut from €1.3m in 2010 to just €1.2m this year.
TDATF is calling for an additional €1m in government funding as according to co-ordinator Grace Hill, the onset of crack cocaine in the last three years means that services are at a breaking point.
“Community drug services have been seriously underfunded for a number of years, but the growth in drug addiction, particularly crack cocaine, means that these services are under severe pressure, with waiting lists for vital supports for people in addiction.
Independent Senator Lynn Ruane, who launched the report today, said families and communities in Tallaght are being abandoned by the Government.
“The people of Tallaght and Whitechurch and the services who support them have been pushed well beyond any acceptable level of resilience, and it is incumbent on the state to act and adequately fund this highly populated community to build capacity, to flourish, and to escape the poverty levels that it experiences.
“You cannot read this report and ignore the relationship between poverty and addiction. The cost of a Government not funding this issue is far greater than the cost of funding it,” said Ms Ruane.