Community Action Groups Urging Funding To Tackle ‘Epidemic’ Of Crack Cocaine

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Crack Cocaine

There’s no understanding of how colossal the crack cocaine problem is, according to campaigners working on the ground.

Politicians have been told that community drugs projects across the country are being undermined and underfunded.

Anna Quigley from the citywide drugs crisis campaign told the Oireachtas health committee this morning that community groups are not being listened to and are effectively being written out of the national drugs strategy;

There is a sense out there, that for the first time ever, I mean as I say we’ve been involved for 25 years, but in the last couple of years for the first time ever there has been a sense of silencing of the community sector.”

She says it comes at a time when the number of areas experiencing a drugs problem has increased significantly.

In Tallaght the crack cocaine problem has been described as an epidemic. Grace Hill from the local Drugs And Alcohol Task force says the funding allocated is far from enough;

The budget of 500k (€500,000) for the entire country next year lacks any understanding of the scale of the problem on the ground and the levels of supports required to address it.

Shane Hamilton from the JADD Project in Jobstown says the crack problem has been described as a cottage industry in the area;

From young people through poverty and desperation getting involved in the distribution of it. From people kind of being vulnerable to being initimidated into production.”