Continued failure to invest in groups combating drugs is having a detrimental impact in Limerick – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin’s Maurice Quinlivan TD today raised the worsening drugs problems in Limerick City in the Dáil and called on the government to provide more funding and more resources to tackle this epidemic.
Speaking today in the Dáil, the Limerick City TD said;
“Firstly I want to commend the many groups in Limerick who are working on the frontline combating the drugs problems in our City. Many of these people work in very challenging conditions with limited resources and their incredible work needs to be acknowledged.
“The Community Substance Misuse Team assists youths, their families and communities to develop effective and supportive coping strategies to deal with substance misuse. The Northstar Family Support Project is a community based project providing support to families who are affected by a family member’s substance misuse.
“Limerick City Community Network is a great voluntary organisation highlighting drug and alcohol issues that affect communities across Limerick. Other groups who do great work in Limerick that I want to recognise include Ana-Liffey, Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre & the Novas initiative.
“Unfortunately the continued failure by the government to properly resource these agencies in Limerick and nationwide is having a detrimental impact on the fight against drugs. Continuing to underfund and under-resource these groups is simply not acceptable and is not sustainable.
“Limerick City has a worsening drugs problem. Heroin, the excessive use of alcohol, gambling and misuse of some prescription drugs are causing huge problems across the City.
“Local groups and people I’ve worked with and spoken to recently in Limerick describe the extent of cocaine use in the City as unprecedented. I’m hearing stories of very young people being deliberately targeted and used as guinea pigs as often both heroin and cocaine are mixed together to get them immediately hooked. Now is the time to invest in tackling these issues.
“Official statistics show a rise of almost 25% state-wide in the total number of people treated for illegal drug use between 2009 and 2013. It is estimated that upwards of 1,000 people in Limerick are addicted to heroin alone.
“The Mid-West Regional Drugs and Alcohol Forum have taken cuts of more than 50% since 2008. Funding in 2018 sees no real increase from what was allocated in 2017. We simply need more funding to combat this.
“It is also time for the Criminal Assets Bureau to be expanded in Limerick to tackle the proceeds from drug selling and for the government to amend the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure money seized by CAB goes back into local communities affected by drugs.”