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Doolan slams Government response to cocaine crisis

21 July, 2004


Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Daithí Doolan, speaking after the publication of a report by the National Drug Treatment Centre highlighting the fact that there has been a doubling in the use of cocaine in Ireland over the past two years, said "Despite all the evidence of a growing cocaine crisis the Government is still in denial and is failing to respond quickly enough. If more is not done cocaine will have gained a foothold in the country."

Cllr Doolan said:

"Despite all the evidence of a growing cocaine crisis the Government is still in denial and is failing to respond quickly enough. If more is not done cocaine will have gained a foothold in the country. The government is carrying our a mid term review of their drugs strategy and they need to deal with this problem

"What is urgently required is a properly thought out strategy backed by adequate resources to deal with cocaine and crack cocaine addiction, with an emphasis on community based pilot projects. But the Government is stalling, obviously having learned nothing from the heroin epidemic that devastated parts of this city in the past.

"Funding for the Drugs Taskforces is woefully inadequate to deal with the scale of the problem and they are still waiting for support to provide specific programmes for cocaine users. And to make matters worse, in recent months community groups have had to lay off essential workers because of lack of funding or funding being frozen for vital programmes.

"The crazy situation is that we have the expertise and the experience to deal with this problem but what we lack is government support. The government needs to wake up and deal with this problem. They need to ensure that no community or service is left without adequate support or resources in the battle against drug addiction."ENDS

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