Growing Problems Of Cocaine Use In Clare

Drugs counsellors in Clare are reporting an increase in the number of people struggling with a cocaine addiction here.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem as drug treatment clinics, like many places across the country, were forced to temporarily close, and some are now operating on limited capacity.

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Last week the Health Research Board reported that cocaine has, for the first time, overtaken cannabis as the second most common drug for which people are seeking treatment.

While general cocaine use is up, there is also a worrying concern over the rise of crack cocaine usage in the country, with the number of people being treated for its use increasing by 44% between 2018 and last year.

The numbers being treated for cocaine use overall have tripled since 2013.

The focus is now shifting to the approach to helping drugs addicts, and issues that some experts say need to be addressed.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Mhosjee Bhamjee says we need to invest in more detox units

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact, meanwhile, with some drug treatment centres having to close their doors during the lockdown, and even now operate at reduced capacity.

Treatment Team Leader at Bushypark Treatment Centre in Ennis, Gerry Murphy, says they have a backlog of people seeking help.