130 drug and alcohol deaths in Clondalkin in last 10 years

By Laura Lyne

THERE were 130 drug- and alcohol-related deaths in Clondalkin over a 10-year period between 2004 and 2013, with one local TD calling on the Government to increase awareness of the danger of drugs to young people, through a national awareness campaign.

The call was made by local Clondalkin TD with Fianna Fáil for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran, who recently spoke during a debate on the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016.

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A report from the National Drug-Related Deaths Index on its 2013 figures was released in December 2015, and it showed that 130 deaths occurred within the area covered by the Clondalkin Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (CDATF).

Of these deaths, 70 were caused by drug poisoning, with 50 deaths of drug-users occurring from other factors.

There was more than a 50 per cent increase in drug-poisoning deaths between 2012 when six occurred and 2013 when 13 occurred.
The only year that did not have any drug-related deaths registered within the area was 2007.

Deputy Curran said: “Problem drug-use continues to be one of the most significant challenges facing our country.

“In my own constituency of Dublin Mid-West in the period 2004 to 2013, 130 people died from drug- and alcohol-related deaths in Clondalkin.

“On a local level, these figures are shocking and the reality is that they are devastating families and communities. Alcohol was involved in 35 per cent of poisoning deaths.

“I believe we should be incorporating a drug and alcohol misuse awareness programme in our education system. The most effective way of reaching young people is in the school setting.

“We need an effective, fact-based programme, which effectively engages with and informs young people.”

A research study commissioned by Clondalkin Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (CDATF) in 2015 produced an understanding of drug-usage patterns in the Clondalkin area.

It found an increase in drug use in 15-34 year olds, with the report saying that drug policy in Ireland has become focused on individual users rather than underlying issues in communities where drug use is prevalent.

The report said that since the recession, CDATF has seen a number of issues arise that include a year-on-year reduction in its funding, a policy shift from looking at communities to looking at individuals, the closing down of spaces and a withdrawal of services.

According to the National Drug-Related Deaths Index, there were 174 drug-related deaths in Tallaght in the same period, with 129 deaths occurring in the Dublin 12 area and 89 deaths over the 10-years in Ballyfermot.

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