'A tsunami of addiction' - A third of those seeking help for crack cocaine addiction are women

'A tsunami of addiction' - A third of those seeking help for crack cocaine addiction are women

Senator Lynn Ruane and Grace Hill, co-ordinator Tallaght Drug & Alcohol Task Force launching the task force’s report on the impact of drug misuse in the area. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

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.

Underfunded

“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.

“Crack cocaine causes chaos and destruction in the life of the person trapped in addiction and hugely affects their children, their wider family, and community, including a growing number of women, have become trapped in a life of addiction and intimidation, who find it very difficult to escape the cycle of trauma and addiction without our help,” Ms Hill said.

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.

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