Cocaine abuse on the rise

Dónal Nolan

Figures released by addiction treatment centre Talbot Grove show cocaine abuse is on the rise once more in the county.

More were referred to the centre for cocaine addiction treatment last year than was the case in 2015, representing five per cent of the centre's work for 2016 (up from three per cent in 2015).

Alcohol remains the main drug of addiction meanwhile. It was the primary reason 77 per cent of all referrals were made to the centre last year.

However, on a hugely positive note is the level of success counsellors at the centre are meeting in getting people off drugs and back on the road to healthy living.

The participant treatment statistics released last week by the leading treatment centre show that 85 per cent of all participants successfully completed courses. Executive Director Con Cremin said that it is the centre's client-centred approach combined with the expert work of its counsellors that has enabled the success.

"Talbot Grove's excellent residential treatment programme completion rate, and the high numbers who continue to attend our aftercare services, compares very favourably with other addiction treatment facilities nationally," Mr Cremin said.

"We attribute our success in treating addiction to our ethos of only working with a small group, of a maximum capacity of 12, so we can completely focus on each participant as they take their personal journey on the road to recovery," he added.

The figures also show that those seeking help for addiction problems were overwhelmingly male (63 per cent). 55 per cent of those referred to the centre last year were meanwhile in full employment and educated, with 42 per cent having completed the Leaving Certificate and 27 per cent having obtained a third-level qualification.

People are more likely to seek help the older they get as the figures revealed that 58 per cent of all participants were over 40 years of age. Meanwhile, families were the main source of referral at 48 per cent, with 39 per cent admitted after referring themselves.

While alcohol was the primary reason the vast majority sought treatment, 11 per cent presented primarily for difficulties with cannabis. Some of those who presented for treatment would have been struggling with other drugs apart from the primary substance.

"The figures show that Talbot Grove is a vital and valuable service to have in the South West of the country, and that the residential nature of the service is key to the success of many people in starting their life of recovery from addiction," Mr Cremin added.


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