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Teenagers as young as 13 seek drug addiction treatment

An addiction counsellor has warned of a surge in those seeking help with cocaine addiction | Read more:

10/09/2019 18:32:00

An addiction counsellor has warned of a surge in those seeking help with cocaine addiction | Read more:

An addiction counsellor at the Cuan Mhuire addiction treatment centre in Bruree, Co Limerick has warned of a surge in those seeking help with cocaine addiction.

He said they have 26 treatment beds but only six detox beds. This has pushed the waiting time for those in need back to between three and six months.Each one of those detox beds is about 40-times oversubscribed the demand is so high.He said that the biggest problem on that waiting list is those addicted to cocaine who are crying out for help.

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He continued to say that many of them are starting to consume cocaine as young as 13 years of age, moving from alcohol and cannabis use.He continued to say that extra resources are needed for addiction treatment right across the country, as well as a robust educational and prevention programme in schools to prevent the young people of 12 and 13 years of age today becoming the "20-something-year-old addicts in ten years time".

25-year-old Conor, who is currently going through a 20-week treatment programme at the centre, said he became addicted to cocaine and tablets as young as 13 years of age.He said the drug was easy to get in his neighbourhood and he could get it as easily as buying a packet of cigarettes.

His drug use led to heartache for his family, severe mental health difficulties for himself, and two suicide attempts.He took it by choice, but would warn young teenagers to make different choices because of the way drugs make the lives of addicts and their families completely unmanageable.

Minister for State at the Department of Health Catherine Byrne acknowledged the growing concerns over cocaine addiction, which is challenging and dangerous, particularly among young people. Read more: RTÉ News »

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