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  • Northside West

Crack dealers target addicts

Thursday, 16th August, 2018 8:00am
Crack dealers target addicts

Pictured at the launch of the cocaine campaign last month were (l-r) D Eamon Keenan HSE; Minister Catherine Byrne; and Tony Duffin, CEO Ana Liffey Drug Project (ALDP).

Crack dealers target addicts

Pictured at the launch of the cocaine campaign last month were (l-r) D Eamon Keenan HSE; Minister Catherine Byrne; and Tony Duffin, CEO Ana Liffey Drug Project (ALDP).

UNSCRUPULOUS drug dealers are preying on former heroin addicts to try and get them hooked on crack cocaine, a Ballymun councillor has claimed.

Cllr Noeleen Reilly (Ind) issued the warning less than a month after the launch of a new awareness campaign developed by the Ana Liffey Drug Project (ALDP) and the HSE.

Ireland ranks fourth highest in EU for use of cocaine and Cllr Reilly believes the problem is getting worse.

“You would have to be living under a rock not to see that Dublin is experiencing a serious problem with crack cocaine in the last year,” she said.

“Drug task forces across the capital will all tell you we have a problem.

“The affect this is having on communities is very worrying.

“We have seen an increase in crime related to those addicted trying to feed their habits.

“Drug dealers are preying on former heroin addicts to try and get them hooked.

“Young people, particularly young men, are also being used by these people to deal drugs in communities across Dublin.”

“Some communities are at their wits end. People don’t feel safe in certain areas anymore.”

Anna Liffey Drug Project (ALDP), which runs an outreach needle and syringe programme based out of Middle Abbey Street, has handed out hundreds of reusable crack pipes since it launched a pilot scheme in April 2017.

Last month the ALDP and the HSE launched the #DoYouUseCocaine campaign to provide information and raise awareness about cocaine among drug users and health professionals.

Minister of State for Health Promotion & the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne, said recent figures that show an increase in those seeking treatment for cocaine use was of real concern.

“This evidence supports what we are hearing from some services on the ground that cocaine use, and in particular crack cocaine use, is on the rise,” she added.

“Since 2017, a number of communities have reported seeing an increase in crack use, and more people are presenting with crack as their drug of choice.

It is reported that the price of crack in Dublin City has reduced (€20-€25 per rock), meaning that it is therefore more accessible to people who couldn’t have otherwise afforded it.”

Cocaine remains the third most common drug reported among people presenting to treatment in Ireland.

In 2016, 12.3 percent of cases reported problem cocaine use, the highest proportion since 2010. Since 2014 there has been a steady increase in the proportion of new cases for treatment reporting cocaine as a main problem drug in Ireland, rising from a low of 297 cases in 2013 to 568 cases in 2016. 

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