Addiction counsellors see a rise in young dads hooked on cocaine in Cork 

Addiction counsellors see a rise in young dads hooked on cocaine in Cork 

A SHARP rise in casual drug use since the recession ended has led to a spike in young men with families seeking help for cocaine addiction in Cork.

Experts have warned that cocaine has infiltrated all sections of society, to the point that it is now normalised in social settings, and addiction counsellors are seeing more and more young fathers hooked on the drug in Cork.

Clinical director of Tabor Lodge treatment centre, Mick Devine, has witnessed a significant spike in cocaine addiction among men, noting a worsening spike since the economic recovery took hold.

He said young men who previously did not have a lot of disposable income have in recent years been able to splash their cash on recreational drug-taking.

He noted that it is often men with young families who were now turning to treatment centres for help for their addictions because their use of cocaine had become a problem which is affecting the family home.

“Young men with a lot of money are getting into serious drug problems,” he said.

Mr Devine said there were often multiple addictions involved, with people hooked on gambling and drugs.

“We are also finding that many of the young men coming to us will also need secondary treatment in Fellowship House because of the complexity of their needs,” he added.

He highlighted the housing crisis as a big issue for some clients, because they are stuck in living arrangements where drugs were freely available.

Last week, The Echo revealed that the Cuan Mhuire treatment centre for women has been seeing its first cases of crack cocaine addiction.

Counsellor at Cuan Mhuire, Michael Guerin, said presentations for treatment for crack cocaine would “almost have been unheard of” up to this year.

At Tabor Lodge, Mr Devine said between eight and ten people were treated last year for crack cocaine addiction.

Mr Devine said: “People using crack cocaine get out of control very quickly. It acts quickly and lasts only a short time.”

However, he stressed that addiction to cocaine powder is the huge issue.

Just last week, gardaí from the Cork North roads policing unit highlighted that cannabis and cocaine are the most common drugs detected in cases of drug driving.

In June, two men were arrested in Cork city in connection with an incident in which cocaine was used on board a train from Dublin.

Earlier this year, Garda Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan, based in Louth, spoke of how the cocaine problem had seeped into every area of Irish society.

“The country is loaded with cocaine,” he said.

“This is a national problem, and if we don’t act as a group with health practitioners and reduce that demand we will lose a generation of young people. This is very, very serious.”

He said cocaine was unlike heroin because there was no shame attached to using it.

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