My son stole my jewellery and has taken money from neighbours to pay dealers
ONE mother addressed last Monday's public meeting in Roscrea detailing her son's drug abuse and how it has devastated her family.
Her son has stolen from his immediate family, his grandparents and his neighbours, smashed the family home and been a "nightmare" to live with.
She's watched him change from being a lovable, affectionate child to an aggressive and violent adult to whom she's afraid to talk because of the torrent of abuse she'll get in return.
She's had all her jewellery stolen except for her wedding ring and has had to find the money and borrow from her family to pay back what he's stolen from neighbours to pay his drug debts.
Her son has admitted his use of cocaine and that he "can't go without it". He has undergone residential treatment for his alcohol addiction.
He has told them the people he owes money to have threatened to burn down their home.
Still she wasn't afraid to stand before her community and admit what has been going on in her home for over three years.
"I won't back away from a dealer because what they're doing is wrong. They're after destroying lives and it's just not fair," she told the Irish Independent.
"I've known for a long time what's going on, where it's going on and I know how it's going on and I also know the people involved."
She realises her son's problems are symptomatic of a town blighted by high unemployment where there is nothing for young people to do.
"When I was young there were three big employers in this town, Offray, Antigen Pharmaceutical and the bacon factory but they're all gone now," she said.
"You got up, went to work and by the time you got home all you were fit for was bed."