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Call for Irish drug epidemic to be tackled

By Rightnow289, Jun 30, 2009 | Updated: Jun 30, 2009 | | |
  1. Rightnow289
    IRELAND IS in the grip of “a really devastating drug epidemic” and people need to be frightened into tackling the issue, a leading emergency medicine consultant said yesterday.


    Dr Chris Luke, emergency medicine consultant at the Cork University and Mercy University hospitals, said the drug problem was “all over the country” but people did not seem to realise how big the problem was.
    He said the extent of the epidemic was highlighted at the Slane concert last week when drug-taking reached a tipping point and “vast amounts” of drugs were being openly consumed.
    A Garda friend who was off-duty at the concert told him she had never before seen cocaine being openly consumed at such a rate.
    The aggression, brawls and “utter savagery” that ensued bore all the hallmarks of cocaine use, he said. “We are not sufficiently frightened in my view. I do think it’s time that people were appropriately afraid and fearful of drugs.”
    In his own work, he saw two drug-related deaths in one week recently at the Mercy hospital, as well as two or three near deaths.
    “And by now we are starting to see a heroin-related case really every day and I’m talking about the full panoply of heroin-related problems from sudden death due to overdose right through to abscesses from injecting, hepatitis end-stage, anorexic addicts dying in their early 20s,” he said.
    The incidence of heroin overdoses in Cork was now reaching the same level as that which he witnessed when working in inner city Dublin and some UK cities in the 1980s, Dr Luke said.
    People living in quiet suburban areas around the State are seeing the effects of the drug problem when knives are yielded by drug addicts in supermarkets and people are walking around “off their heads” after consuming a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, according to Dr Luke.
    He said the Government’s immediate and swift reaction to swine flu should be compared to its failure to realise the extent of the drugs problem and tackle it.
    Dr Luke said front-line emergency services such as paramedics, GPs and gardaí should have an antidote for heroin as a standard part of their resources.
    “The antidote, which is called Narcan or Naloxone, reverses the effect of heroin on the brain receptors which causes the victim to stop breathing.
    Heroin causes respiratory arrest as opposed to cardiac arrest and the antidote needs to be administered immediately, within three to four minutes, to reverse that,” he said.
    “Narcan is a heroin antagonist, it’s been around for years and it’s not very expensive. The subject needs to get it quickly – it’s injected into the muscle and it’s vital that ambulance and front-line doctors, such as GPs, and gardaí, be provided with it as a routine stock in the sadly worsening heroin situation.”
    He said the antidotes were already being carried by advanced paramedics. “But it’s something that should be stocked in all prisons, all garda stations and certain GP surgeries.”
    His comments regarding the massive surge in heroin use in the Cork region have been echoed by assistant state pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster.
    “When I started out 20 years ago, ecstasy was the drug of choice, then it became cocaine in the more affluent times but now it’s heroin,” she said.
    She said she had noticed an increase in the problem not just in Cork city but also in Kerry.

    Source - http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/health/2009/0630/1224249778332.html
    ALISON HEALY and BARRY ROCHE Irish Times.com

Comments

  1. Coconut
    Can you post a link to the original article and the author's name? It's an interesting piece which shows that Ireland is not as progressive as people would like to think.

    They sound like the hallmarks of alcohol - not cocaine - abuse to me.

    Just the usual prattling on about how drugs are bad, we should be scared etc. Calls for the state to ruthlessly enforce drug prohibition are also boringly stale.

    Perhaps if these substances were legalised, it wouldn't be such an issue. But no, the state has to protect us all from ourselves; ironically, this "protection" produces polar opposite results to what the term implies.
  2. Rightnow289
    There you go I forgot to add it in
  3. Joe Duffy
    Dr Chris Luke is an ass, was an ass and will always be an ass. I actually

    dislike that donkey as much as I dislike the dimwit Grainne Kenny, self

    obsessed narrow minded prohibitionist scumbags.




    Now I must apologise for that sudden angry outburst.
  4. nibble
    Ireland progressive Coconut? That is sadly laughable in my opinion, this country is as narrow minded and as full of prejudice as it has ever been..
    Every newspaper is as poor quality as any other these days it seems, the times and independent are almost slipping into tabloid territory.
  5. Coconut
    I competely agree, but most Irish people seem to think that we've become relatively progressive since the massive economic growth of the 1990s. What utter fools.
  6. Routemaster Flash
    Let's face it, it could well both. A lot of people are utter pricks when they're coked up - add in a skinfull of booze and you've basically got a recipe for the Perfect Twat.

    I like the way they've used that same photo of "some drugs" that was in a news.bbc.co.uk article a couple of days ago. :laugh:

    And if Ireland want to tackle their drugs 'epidemic', they could just ask us if we'd mind shipping Amy Winehouse over there. I'm sure many people in this country would be only too happy to oblige...
  7. Nature Boy
    Even SWIM was that naive a few years back. Then they banned mushrooms. Seems like every newspaper has been full of anti-drug propaganda ever since. You would have thought that with the escalation of gangland crime that some former Gardaí would come out and explain why prohibition doesn't work. But it's just typical Ireland. Someone else will get it...
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