Tuesday 24 October 2017

'Teenagers of 14 are using heroin' in Drogheda area

Silk Road was a heavily encrypted online black market that was shut down by the FBI in October
Silk Road was a heavily encrypted online black market that was shut down by the FBI in October

Fiona Magennis

TEENAGERS as young as 14 are abusing heroin in what has been described as 'an epidemic' in the town.

Cllr Imelda Munster said there has been a 'frightening' increase in heroin use in Drogheda.

'Several young people have lost their lives recently. It seems to be very prevalent in certain communities and there are teenagers as young as 14 and 15 who are becoming involved in it. It is extremely worrying how many young people have succumbed to heroin.'

Ms Munster said she had grave concerns that more young lives will be lost if something isn't done to get a grip of the problem.

'We need to put some measures in place,' she said.

Superintendent Gerry Smith told last Monday night's meeting of the Joint Policing Committee that the resources for the drugs unit in the town has been halved over the past two years.

'That's what we are dealing with, our resources are limited,' he said. 'Having said that, there are thousands and thousands of eyes and ears in the town and we need people to come to us. We need help from the public. Any information we receive we will act on,' said the superintendent.

He said there were no major heroin dealers living in the town but there were a number of small-time dealers who had easy access to supplies from Dublin.

'We are open to any ideas people have or any intiatives people think might make a difference,' said Supt Smith.

Cllr Frank Godfrey agreed hard drugs are a huge problem in the town and said he hoped that collectively the Joint Policing Committee could do something to help to address the problem.

Cllr Matthew Coogan said there was also a huge knock on effect from the drug use in the town with many break-ins fuelled by drug users desperate for money to feed their addiction.

He said the newly opened Boomerang Cafe had already been the target of a break-in and in recent weeks up to 10 houses on Marley's Lane had also been targeted.

'This is just to pay for drugs,' said the councillor.

Cllr Michael O'Dowd said alcohol was one of the biggest drug problems Drogheda had and asked what was being done to address this.

Supt Smith said gardaí in Drogheda have been at the forefront of tackling the sale of alcohol to minors and were one of the few districts in the country to get convictions on that.

'We also visit licenced premises regularly,' he said.

Drogheda Independent