More children taken into care after upsurge in crack cocaine addiction

Mary Dennehy

THE devastating impact crack cocaine can have on families is starting to appear across Tallaght communities, after a number of children were taking into care.

On the radar of drug projects for some time, crack cocaine, which is a form of smokable cocaine, is a highly addictive substance that is becoming part of the poly-drug use culture not only in Tallaght but in communities nationwide.


Local drug workers have told The Echo that people who use drugs ‘recreationally’ are trying crack cocaine, which is highly addictive and can have devastating effects for both those who use drugs occasionally in a social setting and those who have been in rehabilitation or a treatment programme.

One local drug worker told The Echo that a high number of clients on one project are relapsing on crack cocaine, with dealers actively pushing the drug on people with a history of addiction.

The highly addictive nature of the drug has, according to a number of drug workers from across the Tallaght area, also resulted in children from different families been taken into care.

Labour Party councillor and co-ordinator of the Community Drug Treatment Project Mick Duff told The Echo: “Crack cocaine has been on the radar of drug projects for some time now and there is no question surrounding the devastating effects that it can have on individuals and families.

“It is a very dangerous drug and has the capacity to drag a person who has went through rehab right back to the start – and absolutely devastate a life.

“However, it knows no boundaries and recreational users are as much at risk here.”

He added: “A crack cocaine addiction takes precedence and every penny goes out the door along with family care. There has been a number of children taken into care as a result.

“The numbers are low, but we can see the potential devastation that this drug can inflict and while I would not condone taking any drug, I would strongly advise people against taking crack cocaine.

“We need to get information into homes and communities about the hidden harm of drug use on the whole family . . . and as a community we need to work together on this.

“Anybody who would like to speak with their local drug project about their own health or family members is encouraged to drop in or pick up the phone.”

The Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (TDATF), which is currently compiling evidence on hidden harm, said that the task force has not noted a huge increase in the prevalence of crack cocaine.

However, it is an emerging trend that they are aware of.

Grace Hill, TDATF co-ordinator, said: “There is no doubt that crack cocaine devastates communities and we would be hugely concerned if drug projects are starting to see this devastation on the ground.

“We did notice a small increase in the numbers using crack cocaine at the start of the year and there were a number of seizures but the biggest increase we have noticed is poly drug-use – so, people using alcohol on top of cocaine, benzos or possibly methadone.

“We are concerned about a range of substances and anybody who needs support should contact their local drug project.”

Visit or call the task force on 4649303.

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