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Cocaine crisis — smartphones, social media and garda indiscretion add to serious problem that’s not going away

Abuse of the drug is so easy and widespread we need a health campaign, rather than a drug war, says a top psychiatrist

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Professor Colin O’Gara

Professor Colin O’Gara

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Contacting a drug dealer in the digital age is very different from the hackneyed imagine of an addict covertly scoring narcotics on a street corner in a bad neighbourhood. Once contact is made with a dealer online, your phone number or social media profile is on their radar and you can become a target for unsolicited contact — videos, menus and messages letting you know when a new batch of high-quality drugs is available to buy.

If you are trying to get clean, this is all very unhelpful, explains Professor Colin O’Gara, consultant psychiatrist and head of addiction services at St John of God Hospital in Dublin.


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