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National Drug Treatment Reporting System statistics ‘worrying’ – Thomas Gould TD

13 July, 2021 - by Thomas Gould TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing Thomas Gould TD has today called on the government to address alcohol dependency and alcohol-related harm in this state.

His comments come in response to the latest HRB National Drug Treatment Reporting System bulletin on Alcohol Treatment.

Teachta Gould said:

“This state has a serious issue with alcohol dependency and problem drinking.

“While Covid-19 had an impact on the numbers able to access services, there are some really worrying figures in today’s bulletin.

“The number of children living with people seeking alcohol treatment, particularly women, is really concerning. We know that large numbers of people with alcohol dependency don’t seek help. Almost 1 in 5 of those who did seek help in 2020 lived with children.

“We need to protect children and support families that are experiencing alcohol misuse.

“Over half of those treated in 2020 had undergone treatment previously with 72% of these dependent on alcohol.

“Sinn Féin has proposed an innovative and proven pilot project that could reduce these treatments dramatically. A clinical, evidence-based alcohol related brain injury programme is desperately needed and today’s figures highlight this.

“This would be a first step towards recognising the seriousness of alcohol-dependency in this state.

“Finally, the level of cocaine usage in conjunction with alcohol has risen dramatically since 2014. We know from the HRB report that the relationship between alcohol and cocaine has increased in recent years. It is time to start addressing this and warning people of the danger of polydrug use.

"The length of time it has taken for full implementation of the Public Health Alcohol Act is scandalous in light of these figures. We need full implementation of this vital, lifechanging legislation now.”

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