Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Worrying rise in the use of Cocaine needs tackled

18 May, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said that if the British and Irish Governments do not wake up to the cocaine crisis the country will be faced with another major drugs problem on the same scale as the heroin epidemic in Dublin during the 1980's and early 1990's.

Her calls come after the charity "Breakthru" found that in some parts of the North one in three people have used cocaine

Ms Anderson said:

"For the past number of years Sinn Féin and community activists have been highlighting the growing cocaine crisis across the country and we have seen many instances of its use and sale here in Derry and the devastating impact this it is having on many families.

"However both Governments have not only failed to respond but have actually turned a blind eye and condemned communities to the impacts of the crisis.

"The new report by the charity 'Breakthru' found that in some parts of the North one in three people have used cocaine and that cocaine is now easier to buy and more readily taken by greater numbers. Those statistics are frightening.

"We need to see both Governments formulate resources and implement an Action Plan to combat spiralling cocaine use in our towns and villages. If they do not take action and continue with their denial of the problem then Ireland is facing a major problem on the scale of which we have not seen since the heroin epidemic of the 1980's and the early 1990's in Dublin which tore many communities apart.

"We are quite concerned that this issue has fallen off the political radar and we will be making this a priority issue in the time ahead. We need to ensure that the drugs crisis is at the heart of any programmes devised by both Governments." ENDS

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