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Tag Archives: drugs

No easy ticket to rehab

THERE is no “quick fix” when it comes to treating someone entrenched in addiction, and it requires not only the will and desire to get clean, but a host of supports also need to be in place, according to the Probation Service. Getting into treatment does not necessarily resolve the problem. According to Leah McGuire, assistant principal Probation Officer in the county, many pieces of the puzzle need to come together for it to be a success. “It’s not a quick fix. Addiction builds up over time and people see abstinence as the only answer and the only way they’ll see improvement. Whereas if you are taking someone off heroin, down to nothing, that takes time. I think the criminal justice system has got to see it like that as well. “A case might be adjourned for three months and [the offender] has got to get into treatment and get clean. They do it, and they might avoid prison. Then …

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Alcohol as big a crime factor as other drugs

ACCORDING to the Probation Services, alcohol is just as significant an issue as drugs, when it comes to those engaged in offending behaviour. David Kenny, regional manager, South West Probation Service, said alcohol, together with benzos, cannabis, unprescribed medication, pockets of opioid use, and heroin are the types of substances most commonly used among those who become involved in criminal activity. Among offenders seen by the Probation Services in Clare, they have identified alcohol, cannabis, and benzos as the types of substances that “are coming up the whole time”, and this is because “they are the most accessible”. Leah McGuire, of the Probation Service in Clare, said cocaine does present itself also, but while it is often thought cocaine is a drug for those with money, at the end of the day it comes down to what’s most accessible at any given time. That, she said, “comes in waves and troughs, and it comes down to what’s a good price …

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Comment: In the age of the sugar tax, we are abandoning kids to drug dealers

IF you were an outsider with a reasonable sense of perspective and you heard about the introduction of the sugar tax, you’d think Ireland cared about its young people far more than it actually does. On May 1, cans of fizzy drinks went up by 10 cents and two-litre bottles by 60 cents, with the thinking being that this new charge –debated in the press and at political level for months – was a wonderful move to combat obesity. Yes, this caring, health-conscious society was taking concrete action to make sure its young people were going to grow up as close to the peak of health and fitness as possible. But on May 1, as the new charge came into operation and our policymakers lauded themselves, teenagers all over Clare (and undoubtedly everywhere else), were out buying cannabis, cocaine, benzos and heroin. The ability to ignore this inconvenient truth is absolutely staggering, with no coherent strategy to tackle the parasites …

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‘If I had sex with them they’d reduce the debt’

UNBEARABLE pressure is being inflicted on young people once they fall into the debt of Ennis drug dealers, a local mother has warned. She once worked in two jobs to clear her own son’s debt and was subjected to numerous threats, with warnings that her young daughter could be a target. “They threatened me, they threatened my son, they threatened my [other, younger] child. They told me that if I had sexual relations with them they would take money off the debt. I’d say I have been threatened at least 40 times. At least. It’s been on my doorstep, up the town, if your son doesn’t pay up, this is what’s going to happen.” At its worst stage her son’s debts reached €2,000, with cannabis very much his drug of choice. “It’s awful stress, oh my God, it’s awful. Even talking about it now, I’m not living through it now, but Jesus it was so hard, working two jobs paying …

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“The cure is in the family”

THE Bedford Row Project has been operating in Limerick City for almost 20 years, having been established by the Franciscans and Sisters of Mercy, in conjunction with Limerick City Council, as there was a need to provide a service that supported people and their families around imprisonment. Today, the Bedford Row Project has extended into County Clare, where one part-time project leader has been appointed to provide support to Clare prisoners, those at risk of imprisonment and their families. Lee-Ann Purcell has been providing this service, offering one-to-one support for Clare men and women who are in Limerick prison, and offering a safe place to support their families, who are affected by their imprisonment. Tasked with linking in with prisoners with Clare addresses, Lee-Ann said “There is an 80% to 90% chance they have been affected by drugs.” She questions whether there is a denial in Clare about the drug issue, but she believes there is a bit of a …

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“There is very little I can do to keep her safe”

KEEPING children away from drugs is proving extremely difficult, and there is frustration in some communities about a weak institutional response. A Shannon mother, who spoke to us, has recently discovered her 14-year-old daughter has been taking drugs. She says it is going to be very hard to keep her away from the suppliers. “Short of locking her in the house and walking her to school and home every day, there’s very little I can do to keep her safe. I know the area she is buying the drugs, she has to walk past this place, it’s called the Boreen. It’s a known fact that’s where young lads have been dealing drugs for years. The Guards know this. “Drugs have been out there for a long time, the Guards know this and they’re doing nothing. A couple of years ago the trees were cut back to try and discourage them but it didn’t. The street lights get fixed and they …

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“In addiction there is chaos, there is mayhem, there is violence”

WATCHING a child being torn by addiction may be the most excruciating experience a parent can go through. That’s the view of a Kilrush mother who has lost a child who went through that struggle, and she has some very strong and informed opinions on the drug problem. “As a parent I think one of the hardest things you’ll ever see is your child being in a place where you can’t take that demon from them. You can do your best to help them as much as you can and let them know you’re there for them, but it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever watch,” she says. As well as losing her child, she has eight siblings who are addicted to drink and/or drugs, so substance abuse has really wreaked havoc on those around her and affected her own life. In recent years she has taken courses in addiction studies, allowing her understand the issues more fully. She believes …

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“Most Shannon teens smoke weed”

AT the age of 18, Jack (not his real name) has been through rehab twice, and now attends four or five meetings of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous each week. The Shannon teenager started taking drugs aged 15, beginning a very rapid descent, after which he admits he is lucky to be alive. Now clean and sober for well over a year, he says his hometown is awash with drugs. Disturbingly, he believes the majority of teenagers in Shannon consume illegal substances. “If you went out and walked down the road and asked 10 people under 18 if they smoke weed or not – if they were being honest with you – I’d say at least six or seven of them would say yes.” The drugs are available from dozens of dealers, all over the town. “There are so many (dealers), I couldn’t even name them all. Literally every estate you go into four or five people are selling drugs. …

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