Drugs epidemic threatens to engulf Limerick City

Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan. Photo: Mark Condren

A DRUGS epidemic is threatening to engulf Limerick and other cities if the National Drugs Strategy continues to be underfunded.

That was the stark warning delivered by Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan in the Dáil this week when he said that not nearly enough was being done or invested to tackle the root causes of drug-taking, addiction and drug dealing.

“As a member of the Mid-West Regional Drug and Alcohol Forum, I know Limerick City, regrettably, has a worsening drugs problem.

“Heroin, cocaine, the excessive use of alcohol and gambling are causing huge problems right across the city.

“The National Drugs Strategy was launched in July 2017, and at that time, I said this plan was not going to work if was not followed by the funding needed to achieve its aims.

“Unfortunately, this is now panning out to be the case.”

He cited a recent Joint Policing Committee meeting which he attended in Limerick, at which the Garda Chief Superintendent said that the cocaine epidemic is the biggest problem facing Gardaí in Limerick City and county.

“Funding to the regional drug and alcohol forums suffered savage cuts during the recession, and this funding has never been restored”, Deputy Quinlivan said.

“I am calling on the government to increase funding to the regional drug and alcohol forums, to ensure local communities have the tools to fight the drugs epidemic that is causing havoc in so many families and communities all over the country.