July 18, 2024

Kilkenny’s growing alcohol and cocaine problems must be tackled, says TD

A local TD has called on the Government to address growing alcohol dependency and cocaine use in Kilkenny.

Deputy Kathleen Funchion spoke out after new data shows Kilkenny recorded the highest number of cases treated for problem alcohol use between 2014 and 2020.

The latest Health Research Board (HRB) National Drug Treatment Reporting System bulletin on Alcohol Treatment recorded serious levels of alcohol dependancy and cocaine use in Kilkenny.

The Carlow-Kilkenny TD, who is Sinn Féin spokesperson for children, said: “While Covid-19 had an impact on the numbers able to access services, there are some really worrying figures in today’s bulletin.

“The number of children living with people seeking alcohol treatment, particularly women, is really concerning.

“We know that large numbers of people with alcohol dependency don’t seek help. Almost one-in-five of those who did seek help in 2020 lived with children. We need to protect children and support families that are experiencing alcohol misuse.

“Over half of those treated in 2020 had undergone treatment previously with 72% of these dependent on alcohol.”

The report found the use of cocaine as part of the drinking experience has also become a major problem locally.

Deputy Funchion added: “The level of cocaine usage in conjunction with alcohol has risen dramatically since 2014.

“We know from the HRB report that the relationship between alcohol and cocaine has increased in recent years. It is time to start addressing this and warning people of the danger of polydrug use.”

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