18 September 2003 Edition

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Upsurge in drug problem

Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe and Councillor Larry O'Toole last week attended a meeting organised by the Dublin CityWide drugs crisis campaign to discuss the growing drugs crisis in local communities across Dublin.

Crowe said that while a lot of good work has been done over the last number of years, there is an urgent need for the government and local communities to prioritise what is again a growing problem in our communities.

"There are huge concerns in communities across Dublin at the increase in the amount of drugs, particularly cocaine, available on our streets," he said. "To make matters worse, this has coincided with cutbacks in services and a decision within the health boards to reorientate away from community involvement in programmes to a purely medical approach, something which we believe is having a very negative impact. If the last 20 years have shown us anything, it is that it is essential to have community support and involvement in local drug initiatives.

"There is an urgent need for the government and local communities to reprioritise this issue and to bring some urgency towards how we are addressing it. I hope that today's meeting will restart that work."

An Phoblacht
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