191 people avail of needle and syringe backpack

By Maurice Garvey

THE campaign to target drug users travelling to Clondalkin/Fonthill train station has seen a total of 191 people avail of needle and syringe backpack and crack pipe distribution programme since January, reports Maurice Garvey.

Paul Keegan, an outreach worker from Clondalkin Tus Nua said: “A total of 89 new service users have presented since the start of this initiative. And up until Wednesday, September 26, where we had eight service users at the train station, three of which were new.”

Grugs Task Force 02

He said females made up to 65 per cent of their clientele and they engaged service users from Cork, Limerick, Galway, Laois, Kildare, Northern Ireland and the greater Dublin area.

“Over the course of this initiative to date we have dispensed a total of 369 syringes, 615 needles, 155 pipes and 73 rolls of tin foil,” said Mr Keegan.

Sharon Harty, an outreach worker with CASP, said they also noticed people travelling from the north side of Dublin, to avoid the heavy garda presence in the inner city for the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

She said people predominately from counties Kildare, Laois, Westmeath and Tipperary have attended CASP for outreach services as a result of the initiative.

“Most would present for harm reduction needle exchange and may stay for a cup of tea or something to eat. They would mostly head off back to where they came from. Some have ended up sleeping rough in the area, mostly for short periods of time.”

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